ANNANDALE, Va. - Leaders in Fairfax County proposed Tuesday that schools in their district close for the March 1st presidential primary due to security concerns and possible problems from supporters of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
In a statement released the same day, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza said that the request came as 'a complete surprise' and that she would reach out to the county’s Elections Office to learn more about the security concerns.
In October, the county’s School Board voted to delay the opening of schools by two hours on Election Day. 167 schools in Fairfax County will be used as polling places. Approximately 180,000 students are in the county’s system.
According to FOX 5’s Bob Barnard, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for Fairfax County Public Schools proposed closing on Election Day due to an anticipated heavy voter turnout. Barnard also said the Board was concerned about problems involving Donald Trump supporters. This issue is related to the Republican Party of Virginia’s decision to require voters to confirm their Republican status before voting in the GOP primary.
Trump and his campaign do not support the so-called 'loyalty' pledge but have reported no threats regarding the issue.
Garza said that , for years, Fairfax County Public Schools have been open and have served as polling locations without incident. She said that extra security is always on-hand.
She said if schools were to close on Election Day, another student holiday would need to be used as a school day.