Observance of MLK Holiday in New Braunfels TX Schools (Comal & NB ISD)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK,Jr.) holiday is an important day to many people, regardless of race. The holiday marks an important piece of history that brought about racial equality and unity in America. The MLK “Day of Service” is a part of “United We Serve”, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our national problems.
Given the history of this nation and the unique role that race and race relations has played from its inception, it is insensitive to the holiday, the people, and the struggle it represents to ignore this holiday. It is a disservice to the students of Comal and New Braunfels ISD to disregard the observance of this holiday and it sends a potentially dangerous and troubling message to them.
The decision to treat the MLK, Jr., holiday as an in-school day, especially in a predominately White school district has the potential to reinforce what some believe is a too-widely held and misguided notion; that it is only a holiday for the black community only. While it is especially important to African Americans it is a holiday shared by all races and those who believe and support racial equality and unity. By not observing this day as a day of service, it also stops these children from being able to participate in a day of service to their community. They cannot be a part of any civic or community gatherings held on that day, in honor of the MLK day of service because they have to be in school. When children are not taught that there are others less fortunate then themselves and are not encouraged to help others less fortunate than they, those attending adults are helping to create a selfish and self-centered generation.
Comal ISD student racial demographic is as such 59% White, 35% Hispanic, 2% African American and 2% Others. New Braunfels ISD student demographic is similar with 54% White, 43% Hispanic, and 2% African American and 1% Others.
For Comal ISD in particular, we’ve been told for several years that there just are not enough available days to incorporate all the Federal holidays into the limited school calendar, but Comal ISD, every year, gives their students and staff an entire day off in September to attend the local county fair. Also, for (2014) they were off for a 4-day weekend beginning Valentine’s day (Friday, Feb 14th, through President’s day (Monday, Feb 17th) which they termed “mid-winter” break; and then the next month (March 10-14, 2014) they are off for a week, labeled as “spring break”. I am sure many students, parents, and staff would be willing to exchange just one of these days in order to observe MLK’s “racial equality, unity and day of service” holiday like the other schools in the neighboring cities from San Antonio to Austin.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"
Each year, students across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to remember his fight and to serve their neighbors and communities. Help Comal and New Braunfels ISD students become a part too.