HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District has confirmed that class will be in session on Good Friday and Memorial Day to make up for bad weather days.
HISD schools will now be open April 18, 2014 and May 26, 2014 for students, faculty, and support staff. According to the Texas Education Agency’s website, the first two days missed in a school year (for any reason) must be made up.
HISD said the decision adheres to the district’s calendar, which designated the Spring Holiday and Memorial Day as makeup days.
Some parents, like Danette Starr, are upset the district chose a religious holiday and a day to honor America’s servicemen and women.
“So you just basically took away time that I would have had with my kids,” said Starr. “I grew up as a Christian and so to me that is one of the most significant holidays for me just as Christmas. You have the birth and you have the death of what my religion background is. I don’t know if they will be going to school that day.”
Nic Banda, another HISD parent, agreed.
“To be honest, it should be looked at as optional if you want to go or not, especially if they’ve made it on either a federal or religious holiday,” he said.
But others don’t have a problem with it, even a pastor.
“I think it’s something that the school is doing, the job they’re trying to do. To educate kids, I mean they have to find those days somewhere,” said Pastor Steven Hicks with Ecclesia Church.
Some don’t see the big deal.
“We are originally from Russia. We used to have minus fifteen Celsius. And can you imagine how many make up days there were?” said Oxana Stryukovskaya.
Parents are offering suggestions, like using Saturdays or Sundays, or adding two days at the end of the school year. But the district’s standing firm and said it has to stay on schedule to start summer classes.
“I think it should be a choice, I mean you know maybe voted on,” said Matt Taylor, a Houston resident.
HISD said parents can write a note excusing their child from class if they are observing Good Friday.