Local News

Fort Bragg Asks for Time Off for Military Kids

Posted November 6, 2007

— Fort Bragg is asking school districts in the 11 counties surrounding the U.S. Army post to give students five additional excused absences when a parent returns from war.

"It's a great idea, especially with parents on R&R, coming home from war, so they can spend time with their whole family," said Chris Harriss, who returned Monday from Afghanistan.

His son, Camden, attends Anderson Creek Primary School in Bunnlevel, where 46 percent of children have parents in the military.

The influx of troops returning home from deployment during a time of year where there aren't traditional breaks is what is prompting the request.

Students typically get a number of absences each school year. The request from Fort Bragg extends that number.

At Anderson, in Harnett County, school administrators are working with the military to accommodate the request.

"It makes us feel good we can accommodate that need," said Anderson principal Leanne O'Quinn. "We love these little children."

Other school systems are also working with Fort Bragg. Cumberland, Moore and Hoke County school systems, for example, are working with families on an individual basis. Some students could get more or less than the suggested five excused absences.

Under the agreement, students are still expected to make up their work. But school officials say it is actually better for the long-term to allow for the extra absences.

"When the child feels really good about what's going on at home -- especially if they're reuniting with a mom or dad, their academics will be so much stronger," O'Quinn said.

Fort Bragg is drafting a "Memo of Agreement" and will ask school leaders in Bladen, Moore, Cumberland, Richmond, Harnett, Robeson, Hoke, Sampson, Lee, Scotland and Montgomery counties to sign it.


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  • JuanGrande v3.0 Nov 7, 2007

    This is obviously a great idea but why give additional excused days off? The kids shouldn't have more than 3-4 days a year of excused absences anyway.

  • NCMOMof3 Nov 6, 2007

    This is a great idea however most schools will already work with families when they know there are certain circumstances, all the parents have to do is let the schools know. Most teachers and administrators know that a little time out of the classroom for family time, whether a parent is military or not, can make for a much happier child and therefore a child that is better prepared to learn

  • malave27896 Nov 6, 2007

    I think that is a great idea. I wish that they had that for me and my bothers and sisters. Our father was in the service and he was gone most of the year. so when he came home we would miss days so we could get that extra time in with our dad. That is a great idea and I hope it comes into play for the children /teenagers.

  • Tarheeljunior Nov 6, 2007

    As an education kajor, I can agree with the school of thought that a happier home means a better student. That much has been established over years of research. The parents coming home need, as do the children. Let's hope that other bases take notes on how Fort Bragg is going about this.

  • free2bedanny Nov 6, 2007

    As a veteran and mom I wish they had this when I was on active duty. A wonderful idea and great for the kids!!!!

  • SLAYER Nov 6, 2007

    This would be a great way to show support for our men and women who are defending our country. The time these kids spend away from their family is amazing so anytime they have to spend with them is extremely valuable.

  • tmedlin Nov 6, 2007

    EXCELLENT idea!