San Antonio’s Largest ISD makes Election Day a Holiday, Prioritizing Student Safety

Election Day is Nov. 8, and Northside Independent School District, San Antonio’s largest district, announced Tuesday that it would make the date a student holiday this year. This news comes as Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said she expects record, “presidential-level” midterm election turnout this fall. 

Following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, Northside AFT members expressed safety concerns over having students in school while hundreds of voters cast their ballots on campus. Northside AFT Chief of Staff Melina Espiritu-Azocar stated that she was thankful that the district took action to “eliminate some of those safety concerns.”

Northside’s move addresses the reluctance of many of its district schools to host voters on campus on Election Day. This reluctance stems from the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed. Considering the expected higher-than-normal turnout, teachers and staff are especially concerned about  schools remaining safe for students. 

Elections Administrator Callanen said she hopes every school district will follow Northside’s lead in making Election Day a district holiday. Texas AFT is working with our local unions to urge their districts to do just that. 

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Early voting begins Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 4.