Local News

GOP chair urges students to 'play hooky' on Memorial Day

Posted May 22, 2009 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2009 6:34 p.m. EDT

— The chairman of the Wake County Republican Party on Friday called on parents of about 30,000 public school students to keep their children home on Memorial Day.

Students attending year-round schools are supposed to be in class on Monday, despite having the holiday off last year.

Wake GOP Chairman Claude E. Pope called his request a protest.

“It’s a national holiday, and it’s a holiday that honors our fallen heroes,” he said.

Wake County Public School System spokesman Michael Evans said crafting a schedule is a complex process voted on two years in advance.

In 2007, the Wake County Board of Education voted to have class on Memorial Day because principals wanted the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off.

Evans said students who do not attend school on Monday will be charged with an unexcused absence – unless parents fill out forms explaining why they should be excused.

“Families need to make the best decision for their plans. We expect children to be in school. It’s going to be an educational day, but if families decide to take their children out, so be it,” Evans said.

“I’m not happy about it. I might keep them out Monday,” parent Russell Dennison said. “It’s a holiday.”

Students on traditional or modified school calendars have Memorial Day off.

The Board of Education votes two-years in advance on scheduling. The schedule for 2010 has all students off on Memorial Day.