Schools Get Flak for Makeup Day Choice

Fred Clasen-Kelly, Charlotte Observer, January 12, 2011

Calling the decision “disrespectful,” Charlotte City Council member Patrick Cannon on Tuesday harshly criticized the school district’s announcement that students would attend classes on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to make up for a snow day.

Also Tuesday, the Charlotte chapter of the NAACP called for local clergy to urge church members to keep their children out of school Monday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had planned next Monday as a holiday, but a severe winter storm has closed school so far this week.

In a brief interview, Cannon said the district is showing insensitivity to the legacy of the civil rights hero and to people who organized activities to recognize the holiday. He said some people had planned trips to places like Memphis and Atlanta, to visit well-known civil rights museums.

“It shows a sign of disrespect even if that’s not what is intended,” Cannon said. “More consideration should be given.”

In a prepared statement Tuesday, the NAACP’s Charlotte branch attacked Superintendent Peter Gorman for scheduling a makeup day on the King holiday. “He continues to demonstrate a blatant deliberate disconnect with the African American community,” the statement read.

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