Three years ago, Veterans Day fell in midweek. At Hoover High School, where I teach, the student absentee count the day before was double the average. I wrote The Bee suggesting that the law be changed to allow schools to observe Veterans Day on the nearest Friday or Monday. Otherwise, students would continue skipping a day of school to make it a four-day weekend.
One respondent accused me of having a "poor attitude" toward veterans and stating that it was federal law, not the state's, that required schools to be closed on Veterans Day. That is not correct. It's in the State Education Code, which makes no requirement for schools to be closed on Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Schools do not have that day off.
Because of historically low attendance during Thanksgiving week and the first week of January, Fresno Unified School District students now have those weeks off. This is expected to have a positive impact toward reducing absences. Schools should be allowed to do the same for Veterans Day. We would welcome veteran guest speakers to come speak to students on Nov. 11. I bet attendance would increase on that day!
Jimmy Bronson, Fresno