Adam Sebastian ‘19: At a recent school board meeting, the topic of whether or not to attend school on Martin Luther King Day became a topic of discussion and controversy. Romeo High School, one of two schools in Macomb County open on Martin Luther King day, provokes African American reactions within our community.
The Michigan Department of Education requires each school to instruct a minimum of 180 days during the school year, up from the 175 days during the 2016-17 school year. Due to the new Michigan Department of Education mandates, Romeo High School added five days to the school year including Martin Luther King Day each year.
Many individuals believe that on Martin Luther King Day, attending school proves not only reasonable but ideal.
“As an educated person, Martin Luther King wouldn’t want kids spending the day playing video games,” Bryce Tinson ‘20 said. “He would want them advancing society.”
However, a large majority of individuals believe that such a heroic individual needs recognition for his accomplishments. He made advancements not only in civil rights of the African American population, but for all of modern day society and the world, deeming him important enough for a day off of school.
According to The King Center, Martin Luther King’s resource and community institution center,
“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America.”
“I think we should have it off because not many people have changed the twentieth century as much as he has,” Julia Fadanelli ‘19 said. “ We should honor him. It needs to be changed in the next calendar.”
The jury remains in discussion about the necessity to attend school on this federal holiday, but the two sides continue to combat each other and plans to until an agreement becomes reached that satisfies both sides.
Gardner, Don. “Romeo and Richmond only school districts that hold classes on MLK Day.” The Macomb Daily, The Macomb Daily, 8 Jan. 2018, www.macombdaily.com/general-news/20180108/romeo-and-richmond-only-school-districts-that-hold-classes-on-mlk-day.
Scott King, Coretta. “The Meaning of The King Holiday.” The Meaning of The King Holiday | The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, www.thekingcenter.org/meaning-king-holiday.