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Schools need to be out for Memorial Day
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Dear Editor,

To the men and women of this nation who have served our country in uniform: Thank you.

As a nation, we are indebted to those who serve as the protectors and defenders of the freedoms we as Americans enjoy. Our nation expresses a small portion of this gratitude by setting aside one day of the year to honor those who have died protecting and defending those freedoms. At least, the majority of our community will pause and reflect on Memorial Day to honor those deceased men and women.

Oddly enough, the elected officials entrusted with our children’s education — read: the Effingham County Board of Education — are ignoring this federal holiday. Do you not believe me? Check out their Web site ( and look at the academic calendar. Notice that all other holidays falling within the calendar are recognized.

Not only is Memorial Day absent from the calendar, it is a staff workday. Gather your disbelief and look at the 2008-2009 academic calendar. Memorial Day is again missing, and again it is a staff workday.  

I learned staff members have the option of working on Wednesday (May 28) instead of Memorial Day. However, I do not think there should be an option. No one at the Board of Education should be working on Memorial Day, period.  

As a member of this community, I am embarrassed. As a veteran, I am offended. As a voter, I am ready for change.  

The Effingham County Board of Education and its appointee, the superintendent, should be ashamed. Insulting the living is reprehensible; insulting the dead is despicable, especially when we owe them so much.

What kind of education do our children receive when these are their examples?

Michael Aaron Newton

Editor’s note: Superintendent Randy Shearouse had the following response —According to Superintendent Shearouse, principals were instructed to give their faculty and staff members the option of completing their required 190 days on either Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday and Wednesday.