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Parents pull kids out of school for MLK Day parade; class in session as make-up day

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 18:25:13-05

The Collier County School Board's decision to hold classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of 2018 - 50 years after the civil rights leader was assassinated - was unpopular with the local chapter of the NAACP. The school board said it was necessary in order to make up for 12 days of school lost in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

But Brandyn and Victor Carter of Naples had no intention of having their daughter attend her fourth-grade class at Seagate Elementary on MLK Day.

"We let her teachers know last week that she wouldn't be in school today," Brandyn said. "Just so she cold come out and enjoy the day, and remember what (King) did for our country."

After NAACP of Collier County gathered over 1,100 signatures on a petition opposing the decision to hold class on the national holiday, school board members offered a compromise: students were excused from class, if their parents notified their child's school that they would be attending the 21st annual MLK Day Parade in Naples instead.

Many children were among the hundreds lining downtown Naples for Monday morning's parade.

"Even though we don't have the day off, we had great support from the superintendent and the school board so that we could come to a compromise," said Dianne Keeys, secretary for Collier County's NAACP chapter.

Lee County missed 11 days of class following Hurricane Irma, but that school district was able to make up the lost time without having class on MLK Day.