Local school in session on MLK Day

By: Shelby Levins Email
By: Shelby Levins Email

MADILL, OK --Many people are looking forward to a long holiday weekend, celebrating the life of one of our country's most influential civil rights leaders. But for one local school district Martin Luther King Day is just another day at school. And that upsets one mother.

It's been more than 25 years since Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday was established as a federal holiday, but still, the Madill Public School System says the day is not a school holiday. One mother says, it's time for change.

"it's real embarrassing. I don't know a better word to describe it. It's very upsetting.," said Martina Fields. Four of her children go to Madill Public Schools. She says for the past five years she's lived in
Madill, the district has held classes on Martin Luther King Day.

"If America can recognize this man, why can't a small town like Madill recognize this man?" Fields asked.

Madill Superintendent Jon Dotson says Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be recognized with teacher lead discussions and student activities.

"I think we're honoring him, but still reporting to work," Dotson said. "It's just one that the committee didn't choose."

Dotson says school holidays are chosen by a committee made up of at least eight teachers.

"We didn't have input to say that we should or shouldn't. Certainly didn't know we were the only school around that would be in session," Dotson said.

Fields says that's just not right.

"I don't understand how you can sit there at a table and look past the holiday like it's just Valentines Day," Fields said. "He gave his life, he gave his respect, he even set in jail to fight for what we have today and I feel like it should be respected."

She says she feels it's disrespectful not to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a school holiday, so she is speaking out.

"I think this is the biggest step that I can possibly take to get them to see and understand that this type of behavior it's not tolerate. It is embarrassing as a Madill citizen to know that our town does this," Fields said.

Dotson says it's too late to make any calendar changes this year, but it's something they will look at next year. Fields says that's the change she's looking for.

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