Should We Use Holidays as Snow Day Make-ups?
Now that many of us are experiencing our first cancelled school days because of the weather, the debate about whether or not to use holidays as make up days has begun.
Should we attend school on President’s Day? How about Dr. Martin Luther King Day? Both? Just one? Neither?
One side argues that attending school on these on these days is disrespectful to the memory of these important figures in American history. They think we should honor Dr. King and Presidents Washington and Lincoln with a day off that allows the general public to reflect on the contributions of these individuals.
Another side argues that attending school on these days gives us more opportunities to teach students the important of these historical figures. We have more of an opportunity to hold special convocations and read about historical events.
I’m okay with either of these views. They are both based in reasoning that makes sense. However, there is a third view that seems to represent the majority of school districts in my area. These districts make Dr. King Day and Presidents’ Day into conditional make-up days, days which there will be no school unless they need to be used to make-up a snow day.
I think the idea of conditional snow days is more disrespectful to these historical figures than actually scheduling school on these days. In essences, those districts are saying, “We think Washington, Lincoln, and King are important enough to honor with a day off…unless snow decides otherwise…”
Districts need to make a decision on these holidays and just go with it. Look at two other holidays – Christmas and Columbus Day. Most districts have Christmas off and attend school on Columbus Day. They have decided that Christmas is important and deserves a day off, but Columbus Day is not worthy of being honored in that way. There’s no middle ground with these holidays.
There shouldn’t be any middle ground with Dr. King Day or President’s Day either. These are either worthy of having school off or not. Leaving these holidays as conditional is more disrespectful than scheduling school these days.