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Should schools close for holiday?

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By The Staff

While state, federal and most local offices in the county will be closed Monday for Memorial Day, classes will be in session in the Lancaster County School District.

And at least one parent doesn't like that fact.

Mary Hunt of Indian Land appeared before the school board Tuesday to let school officials know that she doesn't think classes should be held on Memorial Day.

"Memorial Day is a national holiday honoring those who have served and given their lives for our country, our fallen soldiers," Hunt told the board. "This is an especially important day for us to remember and respect considering we are currently at war."

She argued that public schools in the majority of states close for Memorial Day.

"We must never forget to memorialize those who have fallen for our country, since the birth of our nation, more than 1 million men and women have died to ensure our freedom," she said. "They were someone's father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, relative or friend."

David Knight, spokesman for the school district, said the school district certainly believes in paying respect to those who paid the ultimate price for their country.

But because the school year ends on May 30, it would be problematic to give students that last Monday off.

Exams are held the last week of school and students may need that day to help prepare for them, he said.

"Structurally, we felt that it was best that students not be given a day off that close to the end of the school year," Knight said.

Some other area school districts give the students the day off Monday for Memorial Day, while others don't, Knight said.

The Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Chesterfield County school districts will close for the holiday, but Knight said their classes end the first week in June.

Students in the Kershaw and Chester county school districts follow a schedule similar to Lancaster County. Their classes end this week and students there don't get Memorial Day off either, Knight said.