I can be a bigger person.
(Yes, there’s a big, however, coming.)
HOWEVER, here’s yet another “I’m not used to” moment about Beaver.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day is a federal holiday observed on the third Monday of January to honor one of the all-time absolute greatest leaders in American history. In fact, there are only 4 federal holidays commemorating an individual person. So, I would say that’s a pretty big deal.
Well, this year, the snow day trumped Reverend King.
Harper will have school on January 18th. That’s not really the part that bothers me. In fact, perhaps, being in school that day will be a good thing, providing that there is actually ample instruction about Dr. King on the day designated to highlight his life and remarkable accomplishments.
Now, just as our family tends to keep the Christmas books out all year long, I also don’t limit books about Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges to February (Black History month). I don’t want Harper, or Zane, growing up thinking that we only celebrate Jesus in December, or that the historical significance of the civil rights movement need only be discussed on Martin Luther King day or in February. And yet, I do like that our country has a day singled out to call to remembrance the civil rights movement and, more specifically, the leader at the helm of that movement.
So it saddens me that the school board chose to use Martin Luther King Day as a makeup day for inclement weather. The reasoning? That we may have more snow days coming and not enough extra days to make up for them at the end of the year.
Um, that’s not Martin’s fault.
George Washington fought for freedom and inalienable rights, too. Maybe he’d give up his day for Reverend King?
Maybe I’m just being all dramatic-Joline again.
Perhaps you’ve not given any thought to it. If you haven’t here are some links to some kid-friendly movies and books (easiest enough for Zane to listen to) that you may want to share with your children. Harper read these to Zane tonight and then I shared with them what it means to be a racist. Yep, even Zane.
Ruby Bridges (film)
Be forewarned. I cried during this film. My daughter actually had to comfort me because I was so very livid. If you don’t know, Ruby was actually threatened with being poisoned by a protester as she entered school. She was told she would be hung. One person actually stood outside the school holding a coffin the size of a baby doll. Inside that box? A black baby doll.
I hope the school will choose to teach our children well on Monday. I am disappointed that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Day doesn’t seem to warrant the same importance as, say, making sure the kids get out of school on June 4th. Or that it doesn’t carry the same weight as other federal holidays. But, I have to trust that the school will have a planned curriculum to commemorate the day.
Please don’t treat it as an after-thought.