MOAB, Utah – Some students think the best way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy is to sit at home and do nothing.
Many schools are closed while others go on with business as usual, but set aside time to learn more about King’s mission.
That was the case in Utah’s Grand County School District and some students weren’t happy about it.
“I think we should give him respect on this day,” Grand County High School junior Madison Johnson tells KSL.
“I think it’s disrespectful to go about school.”
Johnson skipped class Monday as a form of protest and “she and her classmates read Dr. King’s speeches and letters outside the school and on the streets of Moab and circulated a petition in support of changing the school calendar starting next year and beyond.”
Superintendent Dr. Stephen Crane, says the school district “intentionally” decided to be open on the federal holiday.
“They decided that we would honor Dr. King in a more education fashion if we actually gave instruction on that day concerning him,” Crane tells the news station.
“In each of our schools, we have activities to honor Martin Luther King and to help students understand the importance of his life and what he did for this country.”
Sherri Costanza, the student’s mother, says she and a lot of other people are supportive of Madison’s protest.
“We’ve gotten a couple fingers, we’ve had people completely making it obvious they are looking the other way; other than that, we are getting a lot of support here in Moab,” Costanza says.
The Salt Lake City chapter of the NAACP tells the news station they are “surprised” some schools were open on the day.
“Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life,” King wrote in 1947.