This SC school district is open Memorial Day. Here’s why

Lancaster County students will be in school on Memorial Day.

York and Chester County schools are closed Monday.

Lancaster County School District leaders alerted the community in February that classes would continue as normal on the holiday honoring those who died during U.S. military service. The decision came along with approval of the 2019-20 district calendar.

“Our teachers voted and chose this calendar and it does have school on Memorial Day,” Lancaster Superintendent Jonathan Phipps said in a statement sent to The Herald Tuesday. “I have asked every principal to make sure that part of the day is spent on explaining the importance and history of this day.”

Lancaster schools have various events planned Monday, said district spokesperson Michelle Craig.

Lancaster High School will have a reading during morning announcements Monday. At Erwin Elementary School, students will watch “A Time to Remember,” a production by the Babbling Bears News Center group of students, Craig said.

Lancaster teachers also plan to incorporate Memorial Day lessons into their activities Monday, Craig said.

Reactions to the decision on Tuesday on Facebook were mixed. Some said they will keep their children home Monday. Some call the decision disrespectful to military members who died.

Currently, state law requires all South Carolina school districts start school no earlier than the third Monday in August.

“I hope that our S.C. Legislators will see fit to allow us to start school earlier in days to come so that this calendar would not be an option,” Phipps said in the statement.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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