Has the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day been forgotten by the Glen Rock Board of Education? This is the message the board has sent with its decision to hold classes on this day (to make up for the lost school days after the tragic events of Hurricane Sandy).
This decision, made by administrators concerned about effective spacing between breaks, is unquestionably insensitive and out of touch.
A singularly American holiday of reverence established only 30 years ago, this is a day to honor the legacy of Dr. King, to be inspired by him through a commitment of service, to remember where we have come from, extend our hands of friendship, broaden our community, and understand what work we still need to do.
Have our school board members lost sight of the importance of this day, knowing that it took until 2000 for the last state to make this date an official state holiday?
While the board also suggested classes would be used as an opportunity in school to discuss the significance of the day, the same could be said of President’s Day or any other holiday.
Should we not hold a half-day session on the most solemn of American holidays, Memorial Day, to be reminded that it is not simply the start of summer but instead a day to honor the sacrifice of the brave men and women who have died to protect our nation? Have we forgotten the struggles faced and overcome by our bravest citizens?
Sadly, we are treating this day like any other day off.
Some of the greatest life lessons are not taught in school and my family will be volunteering in our community on that day.
At the very least, the Glen Rock Board of Education should not mark any student as absent who will be participating in an event in their community since they will be doing more than just discussing the significance of the day. If you are looking for opportunities to volunteer on that day, you can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service web site.
I sincerely hope that the Glen Rock Board of Education reconsiders this decision and instead selects Friday, February 15th as the alternate make-up day.