The N & O reports only 59 percent of year-round students showed up to class on Memorial Day in Wake County’s 49 year-round schools. Yesterday’s attendance rate was significantly less than the 95 percent of students who are in school on an average day.
School on Memorial Day? While Wake County’s policy is legal, the very idea that Memorial Day should be just another school day cheapens the sacrifice of those men and women who died in service to this country. I applaud schools that invited soldiers to share their experiences with students. However, it’s hard to give a day special significance when for the most part it’s just another school day. A 40 percent attendance rate suggests yesterday was anything but a normal day.
Last fall teachers requested the Wednesday before Thanksgiving be made a teacher planning day (Do you think they’ll be many teachers using the day before a four day holiday as a “planning” day?). To meet state law regarding school days, students were required to attend class on Memorial Day. Considering the current mess, the right and more realistic solution would be to allow all students to observe the holiday and extend the school year by one day.