Too many POIs & nominations appearing at schools
TL;DR: Please be weary when nominating a church as it may also be registered as a private school, which makes it ineligible. Additionally, please make sure that the wayspot you're submitting is not on public school property. The key word is "school", not "public".
Basically, the criteria that makes it ineligible is greater than the criteria that makes it eligible. If it fails one of the ineligibility checks, it fails. So being a school (Sunday school does not count), causes any other criteria to be null and void.
I've been noticing lately a lot of nominations appearing at schools. Some submitters mistakenly are honest and say it's on school grounds, which is an easy no. Others don't mention the school, but if you look at the map, you can see it's on school property.
It doesn't matter if the public has access to it outside of school hours, it is still a school and Niantic made it clear that pre-K through 12 are not eligible for any wayspots. There are numerous concerns as to why. Playgrounds, ball fields, cool art, et cetera, if they are on school grounds, they are not eligible.
What people are missing though are private schools. Many churches are also registered as private schools. I've seen live POIs at private religious schools. Yes, they also serve as a church, but at the end of the day, it is still registered as a school. You can easily Google search "registered public and private schools in [city name]" and you will get a list.
We all want more POIs to go through, but we need to be accurate. If you're driving around and you see a church with a K-5 enrollment sign out on its lawn, it's also a school. If it has the word "academy" on it, it's more than likely a school.
I've seen many long-standing POIs gone because they later turned out to be serving as a school as well.
The only exception are colleges and universities. While the game is a major distraction (I had 3 stops in lure range for 2 semesters), students do live on campus. Those are ok because that is their residential neighborhood.
But we need to be careful with what we nominate as education is very important. We do not want our young students distracted and we do not need random people going on campus to play any of these games.
Personally, I think that no POIs should be approved a certain distance from schools. I've seen a restaurant on the same block as an elementary school have an active POI. A kid could sneak off to go catch something there. We have a gym across the street from an elementary school and by street I mean busy/dangerous highway with no traffic lights in that area. The POI is technically at an approved location, but it's right there. Even with the 80m distance, you still need to stand on the edge of the sidewalk to reach it.
As one who is soon to be working within the field of education, I take heart to this. The argument that "it's nice to have something close for teachers/staff to interact with" does not work. They're there to do their job, not to play a video game.
So if you get denied for your nomination being on school grounds, know that it was looked into either by the map or by comparing the location with the school registry or even the associated website if applicable.
While this is definitely an unpopular opinion, I think that as responsible wayfarers, we should take a second look at our active POIs to be certain they are not on public or private school grounds. I do not know the behind-the-scenes agreements made to allow games like this to work, but I imagine that rules were set for a reason, and having active POIs at locations could potentially put the games at risk for an accidental violation. While Niantic does not always catch every single nomination we submit, they are trusting us to be responsible on their behalf, so we need to make sure we are sticking to the rules that are set.
It would take a lot of work, but using the Intel Ingress map, we could go through our area's POIs, find the bad ones, and report them. Yeah, it is a bummer to lose a POI, but there are reasons these rules are set in place.