by David Miller
Martin Luther King Day is a hard-fought federal holiday designed to recognize the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But some school districts are being questioned about their decision to dump the holiday this year in order to make up for snow days.
The polar vortex of early January has caused a lot of districts to decide that King Day would be the perfect time to let kids get caught up with school. The Indy Star is expressing concern about school districts in Indiana that are forcing their kids to come to class on the holiday.
According to Indystar, Avon, Center Grove, Greenfield, Lebanon, Plainfield, Westfield and Western Boone are among many districts holding classes on King Day.
Typically, Presidents Day is used as the makeup day. The change has not gone unnoticed by parents and members of the community, who find this to be an outrage.
Mark Russell, director of education, family services and housing at the Indianapolis Urban League, says that the decision to force kids in school on King Day is reflective of the disrespect that the districts have for Dr. King’s struggles.
“Given the history of this nation and the unique role that race and race relations has played from its inception, this one long-hard-fought-for holiday — I would hope there would be some recognition that this is not just another holiday,” he said.
It was determined that part of the reason that districts are making kids attend school on King day is because they believe the holiday is for black people only. Most of the districts that are not acknowledging the holiday have low representation of African American students. The largest district in the state, Indianapolis Public Schools, has allowed its children to take the day off, and considers it taboo to make kids come to school on such an important holiday.
What do you think? Is this disrespectful of Dr. King’s legacy?