School Daze: Why Some Southern Students Aren’t Getting Martin Luther King Day Off

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Though superintendents are chalking it up to bad weather and a required amount of lessons, a controversial decision to have kids attend classes on Martin Luther King Day has some parents and politicians pretty steamed.

The New York Times reports that a few schools in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are keeping their classrooms open on Monday, despite most schools and businesses closing their doors to honor Martin Luther King’s birthday.

(More on TIME.com: See rare photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

While the move is controversial, particularly in the South who lagged in initially declaring the day a holiday, administrators are saying they have no choice, as unexpected snow shut down schools for too many days and the children will need to make up the time somehow.

Prominent voices have already announced their disappointment with the decision. Reverend Al Sharpton responded that he hoped parents would choose to keep their children home, regardless of the school’s decision. “It’s un-American not to observe the holiday,” he said.

(More on TIME.com: See Martin Luther King in His Own Words)

Some schools are choosing to balance the day of classes with lessons on the civil rights movement and King’s legacy in particular. (via the New York Times)

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