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January 19, 2014

Five school districts closed on Martin Luther King Day

DUNCAN — Five of the seven public school districts in Stephens County will observe the Martin Luther King Day holiday and give students the day off, but teachers still have to show up for what is called “professional development days.

Two school districts, Velma-Alma and Bray-Doyle, don’t observe the King holiday and convene classes like any other day.

Nobody in those small districts returned telephone inquires from The Duncan Banner to explain why students don’t receive the day off to honor the civil rights leader, who was assassinated in 1968.

Duncan, Central High, Comanche, Empire and Marlow  all observe the holiday, at least for their students. If a teacher or staff member requests the day off, districts in those officials said it handled like a routine request for time off.

In Duncan, the county’s largest school district, each school in the district decides what it will do in teaching or discussing the King holiday with students,  said Sherry Labyer, district superintendent.

“We do let the students out that day out of respect for the holiday,” she said.

“It is up to each individual (school) site as far as what they do to study.”

School districts in which students get the day still hold professional development days teachers, officials said.

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