Some skip school on Memorial Day

May 25, 2009 10:06:04 AM PDT
The bells rang at Wake County's 49 year-round schools on Monday, but there were a lot fewer students than normal to answer the call. At North Garner Middle School, what would usually be a steady stream coming off the buses was more like a trickle.

"There was not that many students on the bus. There was maybe 5 to 10 at the most," said Assistant Principal Robert Bowden after one arrival.

Wake County made the decision to have students on the year-round schedule come to class on Memorial Day two years ago. But some have questioned that decision, saying have class is disrespectful to the memory of American soldiers who've made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

At North Garner, Kate Calnan brought her daughter to classes Monday - but she wasn't happy about it.

"It's an awkward decision to make, to decide, well do I send my child to school?" she offered. "I'm not in the military or anything, but we're a military state, and it's kind of disrespectful."

Betty Adkinson's 7th grade grandson came too. He has to miss a couple of days next month and couldn't rack up another absence.

"I don't like it but there's nothing I can do about it," she said.

Attendance appeared to be better at Holly Springs Elementary. Administrators there chose to make the best out of having class on a federal holiday by hosting an assembly with veterans as speakers.

"We turned it into a positive thing so we actually have children experience seeing these kind of heroes and veterans because they might not ever have a chance to do that if they're out of school all the time," offered Principal Windell Harris.


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