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HomeNewsArchivesSIMMONDS DEFENDS HER POSITION ON MEMORIAL DAY

SIMMONDS DEFENDS HER POSITION ON MEMORIAL DAY

Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds said Friday there is a need to make up missed school days if students are to get the minimum level of instruction mandated. Using Memorial Day as one of the make-up days is necessary and not meant to be disrespectful to veterans, she said.
Simmonds was responding to concerns expressed by veterans and others that holding school on Memorial Day was inappropriate.
"I have received a call from Veterans Affairs Director Gregory Francis who expressed concerns among veterans about our decision," Simmonds said.
Simmonds said she would direct teachers to use the day to teach students about the significance of Memorial Day, especially about the sacrifices and contributions veterans in the community have made.
"This is certainly not to disrespect our veterans or the memory of those who gave their lives for us," she said. "Some of the students will undoubtedly also be participating in the official ceremonies commemorating Memorial Day."
Simmonds readily acknowledged that using Memorial Day as a school make-up day is a break with tradition, but she is hopeful that this year’s experience will help make future Memorial Day observances even more meaningful.
"The bottom line for us is that we have to educate our children and we don’t want them to have additional time from the classroom," she added.
Simmonds, the daughter of a World War II veteran, said, "I value the service of my father and all veterans."
When the school calendar task force first announced its intention to use Memorial Day as a make-up day, Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen led the outcry against it, terming the move "a slap in the face of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

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Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds said Friday there is a need to make up missed school days if students are to get the minimum level of instruction mandated. Using Memorial Day as one of the make-up days is necessary and not meant to be disrespectful to veterans, she said.
Simmonds was responding to concerns expressed by veterans and others that holding school on Memorial Day was inappropriate.
"I have received a call from Veterans Affairs Director Gregory Francis who expressed concerns among veterans about our decision," Simmonds said.
Simmonds said she would direct teachers to use the day to teach students about the significance of Memorial Day, especially about the sacrifices and contributions veterans in the community have made.
"This is certainly not to disrespect our veterans or the memory of those who gave their lives for us," she said. "Some of the students will undoubtedly also be participating in the official ceremonies commemorating Memorial Day."
Simmonds readily acknowledged that using Memorial Day as a school make-up day is a break with tradition, but she is hopeful that this year’s experience will help make future Memorial Day observances even more meaningful.
"The bottom line for us is that we have to educate our children and we don’t want them to have additional time from the classroom," she added.
Simmonds, the daughter of a World War II veteran, said, "I value the service of my father and all veterans."
When the school calendar task force first announced its intention to use Memorial Day as a make-up day, Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen led the outcry against it, terming the move "a slap in the face of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."