This is Fred Black.

Federal law establishes Memorial Day on the last Monday in May, and it is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of our country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Many communities have activities and programs to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and ours is no different.

Sadly, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will not observe Memorial Day in 2014. To say that bad weather this winter is the cause is disingenuous; the cause is that the School Board put Memorial Day on their list of make-up days in the first place. The staff that recommended this and the board members who accepted it without comment should be ashamed. All around us, other districts found a way to preserve Memorial Day, and they had the same bad weather and are governed by the same North Carolina laws. To say the teachers will talk to students about Memorial Day ignores the fact that it’s not just students impacted, it’s everyone else who will work that day because of the decision and the many families and programs affected. And for what it’s worth, I hope if some instruction is provided, students will be educated on the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

I know there are those who might say school on Memorial Day is no big deal. Well, giving your life for your country is a big deal and our day honoring those who did should never, ever be on the list of make-up days again. This is disrespectful. This is embarrassing. This is a total fail.