Martin Luther King Jr. Versus The Snow Day

On the one hand, it is important to recognize the life and accomplishments of the great Martin Luther King, Jr.  On the other hand, educating our children is just about the most important task we have as a society.  So what do we do when a school district needs to make up for snow days and the only option available seems to be the reverend doctor’s holiday?

Which is more important, the time off or the time to teach?  Some civic leaders want schools to find other ways to make up the time, saying that holding classes on the federal holiday is an insult to the memory of King and all that he accomplished.  “For that day, so many have died. For that day, so many have marched. So many have been martyred,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson.

But school officials, trapped between the need to make up school days canceled due to sever weather and under-funded budgets preventing them from adding additional days, say they don’t mean to show disrespect but only that they need to get their job done.  “There was no intent on anyone’s part to devalue this day in recognition of this American leader,” said Elaine Baker, a spokeswoman for the Rock Hill schools in South Carolina. “We’re just moving ahead and doing the business that we always do, which is educating children.”

Personally, I think Dr. King would have been okay with using his day to teach, especially if it were used to teach about peace and tolerance and universal brotherhood.  I’d also like to think he wasn’t the sort of pompous jerk who would get his knickers in a twist just because schools wanted to teach on “his” day.  What do you think?

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