5,900 Montgomery Co. Students Absent On MLK Day 1-17-2011 - WSMV Channel 4

5,900 Montgomery Co. Students Absent On MLK Day 1-17-2011

Reported By Forrest Sanders
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.
It's been a hotly debated topic: Should students haven attended school Monday to make up snow days?

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When Montgomery County schools ran out of snow days, school officials made the decision to cancel the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but thousands of students took the day off anyway.
Among the crowd who participated in the city's march to honor King was Clarksville mom Kendra Bryant.
"I decided to keep my children home for the march," said Bryant.
She took her children by the hand and walked with them in an event she said was too important for them to miss.
"I don't think school should have been held today. I think we could have done it another way. There's always the end of the year. There's always a spring break day. Martin Luther King's holiday just didn't seem feasible," said Bryant.
Clarksville-Montgomery County school officials said 5,900 students were absent on Monday, which is 20 percent of the student body.
"I think the parents should have had the right to vote on that, not just the school board deciding," said Bryant.
But some attending the march took a different view.
"It was not something that was done intentionally, and nobody could predict that the snow days would run out at this time," said Clarksville grandmother Jane Garland.
Garland said she was attending a Mississippi school when desegregation began and remembers graduating from school the same year King was killed.
"If you're not going to participate in the festivities, you should be at school because I believe this is one of the things Dr. King fought for: for our children to have a better education," said Garland.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System released the following statement on how it handles makeup days:
"We appreciate the community's understanding of this unique situation and the feedback on snow makeup days as we formulate a weather plan for the '11-'12 school year."
All students who provided notes would be excused from Monday's class.



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