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Montgomery County School Board Votes for Inaugural Holiday

The Montgomery County school board voted today to declare a holiday on Inauguration Day, the latest in a wave of actions that will close most of the region’s public schools Jan. 20.

School systems in Charles, Loudoun, Prince George’s, Prince William and St. Mary’s counties and elsewhere have altered their calendars since Election Day so that students — and, in some cases, employees — can attend the inauguration of the nation’s first African American president, Barack Obama. Other systems, including those in Fairfax County and the District, had already planned to close.

A few school systems, including those in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, will remain open but are taking care to allow students and staff excused absence.

Montgomery School Superintendent Jerry D. Weast recommended against closure. But more than 5,000 people signed a student petition on the online networking site Facebook in support of an Inauguration Day holiday, and board members were deluged with requests from parents and staff. A resolution from board member Christopher S. Barclay (Silver Spring) passed unanimously.

“It is clear that our community would like to participate in all kinds of ways in this inauguration,” Barclay said before the vote.

Other board members noted that employees had requested leave in such numbers that school officials weren’t certain they could cover every classroom.

By Daniel de Vise


By Marcia Davis  |  December 9, 2008; 4:32 PM ET  | Category:  Youth
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Ridiculous. Weast seems to be the only one with any common sense. Bowing to pressure from some Facebook petition? The school board is spineless and caved into a bunch of kids who want to go to the mall or sleep in. I guarantee you that less than 5% of these students will actually be downtown.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 9, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous?? I think not. As a very excited student, I am overjoyed by the board's decision. I will no doubt be the attending the inauguration along with my family and MANY of my classmates. Don't be such a downer. This is history we're observing. What does it mean to you?

Posted by: ekatz92 | December 9, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Your comment "a bunch of kids who want to go to the mall or sleep in. I guarantee you that less than 5% of these students will actually be downtown" seems to imply that the majority of students do not care about the election. It is an assumption made frequently against teenagers and also very wrong.

Posted by: thatshortayy | December 9, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"I guarantee you that less than 5% of these students will actually be downtown. "

Well, I'll be at least one of those supposed "5%". Can't wait! Thanks MCPS!

Posted by: PeterBethesda | December 9, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

If you mean by "going to the mall" that us teenagers will go to the National Mall to watch history in the making, then yes, they (including myself-who signed the petition) will go to the mall. Great decision by MCPS! And I'm sure the teachers, janitors, principals and other ADULTS are very happy they will be able to attend because "a bunch (5,000) of kids" stood up and said they wanted to see history in the flesh.

Posted by: palipride47 | December 10, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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