Lynn Kelley: Recognize MLK Day

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— I was disappointed to see the students in my neighborhood going to school on the holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I thought for certain that Steamboat schools would honor the day dedicated to a great American, especially when we honor all the other federal holidays. The district offices say that the calendar won't let them give the day off. Quality school districts set a calendar in which Dr. King is recognized. Who determines the calendar and decides that Dr. King's day is not worthy of celebrating?

I now understand why the schools have struggled with harassment issues. Steamboat is a monoculture for the most part, with little diversity. Our children have few opportunities to interact with people who are different than they are. Teachers should be teaching the lessons that Dr. King valued and died for, as time worthy and as important as Valentine's Day, Halloween and winter blues vacation. Maybe the board, administrators and staff should try leading the way in stopping harassment at all levels by remembering Dr. King on the federal holiday.

Lynn Kelley, Ph.D.

Steamboat Springs

Comments

letomayo 6 years, 10 months ago

Maybe when Barak becomes president we will not see our kids go to school on MLK's brithday but until then "might is white" in this town.

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portagetheyampa 6 years, 10 months ago

Perhpas the MLK day would be best spent with students in school and learning about Dr. King rather than jsut getting a day off.

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Chris Elliott 6 years, 10 months ago

"Teachers should be teaching the lessons that Dr. King valued and died for, as time worthy and as important as Valentine's Day, Halloween and winter blues vacation." FYI Dr. Kelly, we don't teach lessons about Valentines Day, Halloween or Blue break. Nor do we get days off for Valentines Day or Halloween. If you were in the classroom during Black History month, you would see plenty of lessons about MLK and his values.

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wytiasobel 6 years, 10 months ago

Thank you Dr. Kelley. We live in Denver and were made aware that your schools did not observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. We were shocked, incredulous and, in all honesty, angry to learn this, especially considering what your community had experienced with and through Randall Nelson's ordeal. We were "introduced" to Randall by the Denver Post a few weeks ago and, out of support and solidarity, have forged an electronic friendship with Randall's family and ours, as we too have a 15-year-old son who struggles with understanding race, prejudice and racism, as a white child who has friends of all races. A day of inaction is the antithesis of what Rev. King taught and, while laudable and commendable that Black History Month is observed and used as a learning opportunity, ignoring the Rev. King legacy through non-observance of the holiday is not just a missed opportunity but is an insult to all of those who have worked themselves to their bones and beyond for human rights, human dignity and mutual respect - all the things we are supposed to be teaching our children. In keeping with the spirit of opportunity, what if next year Steamboat Springs students undertake similar acts of service that the Vail students undertake. Please read about what Vail students - even the elementary schoolers - have undertaken in honor of MLK, Jr. day - http://www.vaildaily.com/article/2008486842551. Additionally, I am sure that Randall and his friends, family and allies will be encouraging their fellow students, friends and teachers to study the website www.mlkday.gov for ideas for your students. Perhaps our son and his interracial student body at Denver East High could join forces with your students on January 19, 2009 to create acts of service that would truly make Rev. King - and all of us - proud. Sincerely, Betty Wytias and Robert Sobel and Will Wytias-Sobel

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Brian Watterson 6 years, 10 months ago

In addition to recognizing MLK day, how about including other great Americans. What about Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, etc. etc. And lets have a separate holiday for both Lincoln & Washington, instead of combining them.

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JazzSlave 6 years, 10 months ago

Let's do away with commerative holidays altogether. If Americans need days off to acquaint themselves with the Founding Fathers, it's a lost cause not worth flogging.

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portagetheyampa 6 years, 10 months ago

How does getting a day off school benefit the students except give them a day to play at home or on the ski slopes? Just because RE-2 Schools don't give everyone the day off doesn't mean MLK and his legacy aren't honored and respected in the various schools.

The lady from Denver who was "shocked,...angry" needs to find out what is happening here before she gets so mad. I do support her wondering just what is happening regarding better racial understanding in light of the terrible experience of young Randall Nelson. Obviously, the school personnal made big mistakes in that matter, not the least of which was denial, something the high school principal seems to be an expert at practicing.

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corduroy 6 years, 10 months ago

I wish I could get all those bank holidays off from work.. Honestly, besides the banks and post office, and most schools, who actually gets those days off?

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

It is enough of a challenge to be a working parent in the hospitality industry in this town during the holidays with your kids at loose ends. When MLK comes up everyone is still working overtime weeks serving the holiday crowds. I for one am happy that the kids don't get another day off right then that they don't need.

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