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Friday, January 14, 2011

Bev Perdue, MLK's Birthday & N.C. Schools: Claims Not State's Decision

Gov. Bev Perdue Says MLK School Day Decision Is Not A State Issue

Governor Bev Perdue says it is a local decision to open schools as a make-up day or keep them closed on the holiday set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Speaking in Charlotte, where schools will be kept open Monday, the Perdue said, "It is my hope that we can all honor the Martin Luther King Day holiday."

She also said it is not a decision that should be made by state government.

The Reverend Kojo Nantambu, who is the head of the local chapter of the NAACP, called on parents to keep students home on Monday saying it is the only holiday set aside to honor an African-American.

"We do not want to miss an opportunity for our children to experience that or to celebrate that," said Nantambu, "I think it is unfair."

Eric Davis the chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board said students would spend part of the day Monday learning about the history and importance of what Dr. King did for the country.

"We will honor him by educating students," said Davis.

Parents dropping off their children at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary in Charlotte had differing opinions of the decision to keep schools open.

"I think it would take away some of what it represents," said Latasha Harris. Harris said she had not yet decided if she would keep her child home.

“I think that it is fine," said Roger Stowe.

"I think the spirit of Martin Luther King should rest in your heart,” Stowe said. “You should really celebrate him wherever you are."

NAACP Calls For Protest Of CMS Holding Classes On MLK Day

The NAACP held a press conference Friday morning, protesting the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ decision to have classes on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Chapter president Kojo Nantambu said the decision to use the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a snow make-up day is disrespectful to the memory of Dr. King.

Nantambu called for a protest at the Government Center on Monday at 10 a.m. and urged parents to keep their children out of school and bring them to the protest.

He said after the protest, the children will be taken to the Levine Museum of the South and to the Harvey Gantt Center where they would learn about the legacy of Dr. King.

“We are appalled that of all the days they would choose – that the Board of Education of Charlotte-Mecklenburg would choose to use the Martin Luther King birthday as a make-up day for snow, “ Nantambu said.

On Thursday, CMS board chairman Eric Davis said there will be special programs in the schools on Monday to let students learn more about Dr. King.

The calendar of make-up days was written two years ago and the board recently agreed that in 2012, no matter what, Martin Luther King Jr. Day would not be used as a make-up day.

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Sources: WCNC, Wikipedia, Google Maps

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