Parsippany Schools Open for MLK, Not for Election Day

Which would you prefer? Tell us in the comments section.

As many nearby school districts are closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, some in the Parsippany-Troy Hills may be wondering why their students don't get an extended weekend as well.

For those who may not know or have forgotten, the school board passed a measure last year to close schools on election days in exchange for MLK day. 

Schools closed on Nov.5, general election day, and will close on June 3, 2014, primary election day.

"We took away Dr. Martin Luther King day—for this one year only—while we look at whether we'll permanently adjust our calendar," BOE member Fran Orthwein said. 

Under the plan teacher orientation and development will be offered Sept. 1, teachers will have Sept. 2 and 3 for preparation days and students in grades 6 and 9 will report for their orientation Sept. 4.

"All in all, this is a win for our students and faculty," Acting Superintendent of Schools John T. Fitzsimons said, adding an instruction to teachers to ensure, given the loss of the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader in 2014, that lessons covering Dr. King's accomplishment be reinforced with students. 

"We want to make sure Dr. King received his rightful recognition," Fitzsimons said.

Which would you prefer, schools closed on election days or MLK? Tell us in the comments section.
DXNJ January 20, 2014 at 06:31 AM
Ugh..how about to pay respect by having the day off and still teaching about his importance. What a shame
Maurice Saunders January 20, 2014 at 08:42 AM
Simply put, my preference is to have Parsippany Schools closed on Martin Luther King Day.
joe raich January 20, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Both days should be closed. School "greeters" on election day, and ordering kids to go to school on MLK day are bad decisions. We should replace "trustees" that don't represent voters.
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 20, 2014 at 10:57 AM
If the Whole School Day was devoted to who he was and what we still are today; that might be seen as too radical or impossible to practice or admit about ourselves. What levels of Education could accomplish this one day a year? Why this choice of holidays? not to honor this man is shameful, demonstrates continued racism. Most Nations Have all day-Off election Day. part of speech made Riverside Church April 4 1967."It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered".
Selene January 20, 2014 at 12:06 PM
It is shameful that the schools are open. Dr. King was an amazing leader, and his life and leadership should be celebrated. "When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact...that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance; We've learned to fly the air like birds, we've learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven't learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters...” - Dr. King You can't help but love the man because he was so insightful, so full love and compassion for his brothers and sisters of all colors, nationalities and so blessed with the ability communicate his dreams and visions for peace in this world.
NHM January 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM
Why are elections held in schools?
Selene January 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM
"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the appalling silence of the good people" MLK
Selene January 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Selene January 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Ann M January 20, 2014 at 12:31 PM
I have no problem with the kids being in school today. If they were home, they would NOT be honoring MLK. They would be sleeping, playing video games or whatever. Hopefully, at least in their SS classes, will be talking about MLK and learning. As far as the elections go, it's up the the County to pick the polling places. Ideally, the elections should be moved out of our schools and the kids should be in school those days as well.
raymond chrastina January 20, 2014 at 01:54 PM
They should be in school learning both days. As stated before, It is likely, that students off today are not honoring MLK. If they were in school it would be to teach them.
Jeff January 20, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Selene - why is it shameful to hold a school day and have children learn about MLK. Do you honesty believe a majority would spend any time celebrating this day at home..
Jeff January 20, 2014 at 02:13 PM
First -- voting should be held at libraries, fire houses, etc. -- They should not be held at school. Practice is disruptive and brings in an unknown element to the schools. Second, have no issue with having school day for MLK. The day is about remembrance/celebration of MLK and not meant for a free three day weekend for parents, children and teachers. For those asking for the day off -- please point to what you are doing to remember MLK. My expectation for most wanting the day off will instead cover errands, watching tv/movies, playing video games or anything unrelated to MLK. My point is that the school day will spend time to learn what the day is actually about.
DXNJ January 20, 2014 at 02:30 PM
Are the schools really dedicating the entire day to teach about MLK? Serious question.
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 20, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Another thought; why Martin Luther King Day or Election Day, why not election day or Presidents Day? It used to be George Washington's Birthday; then in the 50's &60's we also had Lincolns Birthday, both in February. Now they lump all the Presidents in the same category like commodities or individual success stories. Not keeping our original President Birthday; the actual commander and chief, who risked all, including his life is the beginning of propaganda and the illusion that all presidents are somehow good or honorable; that the office makes the man, not the man the office. Martin Luther King not a politician ; but perhaps a spiritual statesman deserves more respect than many presidents. Advancing With the power of Love and purpose, not unlimited finance he was the true American killed by the powers of greed and domination.
raymond chrastina January 20, 2014 at 06:41 PM
I have an idea. If schools want to be closed for MLK, make it part of the school year. Have students pay respect by working in their communities for grades. If they are learning, they will help clean up and or try to better their communities. Wait, that would cut into their x-box time
NHM January 20, 2014 at 09:55 PM
According to 2 posts above: 1. the County picks the polling places, and 2. taking them out of the schools and putting them back in the libraries and fire houses, where they used to be, would make the schools safer and allow for more in class days for the students. How do we make this happen??
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM
NHM: start getting active Our sense of community is shallow enough just to be used as a "word" at election times. Corporate Republicans have extinguished our notion of a common good as being liberal. They use words as propaganda with no education as to their origins as life-giving organically linked human evolution of spirit.
Sonja Maddox January 21, 2014 at 10:57 AM
I support moving the polling locations out of the public schools and back to the local fire houses and local libraries, so that schools can remain open on those days. I do not oppose having school on MLK day.


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