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
December 9, 2008; 4:32 PM ET
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