SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some parents are planning to keep their children home from school Thursday because of mounting concerns over Battle Creek Elementary School being used as a public polling place.
Polls for the 2023 City of Spring Hill general election will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 13. However, Shelby Dey said she and other parents were not aware that Battle Creek Elementary School would be used as a polling place until an email was sent out at 7:30 p.m. on April 11.
In an email, Dey explained that her primary concern is that children will be at the school while voting is taking place. She called the choice “inappropriate” and “irresponsible” following a mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville two weeks ago.
“I have one kid at the school in fist grade. I will be keeping her home tomorrow, and all the parents I’ve spoken to today plan to do the same,” Dey said.
While Battle Creek Elementary parents have been outspoken about their concerns, there are a few other schools in Maury County being used as polling locations for the general election.
Current state law only requires schools to close if the building is being used as a polling place for a regular November election. The general election consists of candidates running for City of Spring Hill Alderman positions.
All four of the candidates are running uncontested. In a response to parents concerns on Facebook, the school noted that “very low attendance” is expected. The school also plans to have an additional police presence on site, in addition to an undisclosed safety plan.
Still, many people spoke out against the decision to use the school as a polling place while students are in class in the comments, with one person calling it “poor taste.”
School administrators also sent out a similar statement to parents in an email acknowledging that “having the public in the building is upsetting news.”
“I’m a mom and believe that when we have unique situations like this, and knowing all the information, you should make the best call for your family,” the statement continued. “We will be here and ready to welcome your child to a controlled and safe space to continue school as normal as possible.”
News 2 has reached out to the Maury County Election Commission for comment on the matter.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.