Palestine ISD Responds To Memorial Day Class - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Palestine ISD Responds To Memorial Day Class

For Vietnam veteran Allan Ayo, Memorial Day is a time to remember the many friends he lost in battle.

"It was November 19, 1966.  I had 11 men in my squad, and out of those 11 men, one was not wounded or killed in action. So, I lost ten men that day, including myself being wounded; three were killed, and the rest were wounded," says Ayo.

He says the PISD's decision to always hold class on Memorial Day is hurtfull to him and others who live with those awful memories.

"It's in our hearts, and in our minds. Everyday is a Memorial Day to me to honor fallen comrades, so I really think the school district ought to take another look.

It's a decision the district says they came to after talking the calendar over with teachers, adminitrators and parents.

Rhonda Herrington is the district's curriculum director. 

She says, "We're very proud of our veterans, and I don't think that Palestine ISD looks at Memorial Day, just because we do not take that day off, we try to institute as much as we can into the classroom that day so our students know what the purpose of Memorial Day is." 

Herrington's son-in-law is a 1993 Palestine High School graduate now serving in Mozul.

I asked her how she would feel if he was killed in action, and she had to work on the day set aside to honor his memory.

"I think there are all different ways to pay respects, and it's something that's always in our hearts.  Everytime I see my grandchildren, I see that four year old that may not see his father again, it's very sad, but I don't want to say that it's just one day that you would spend that you would commemorate those lost souls," says Herrington.

She says if there is enough concern from the community, her committee will reconsider whether to hold school on Memorial Day next year.

After our story aired last week, we discovered a letter sent to all Texas public school administrators from the Texas Education Agency about when make-up days should be scheduled.

It says "...districts are also discouraged from scheduling make-up days for times that have traditionally been considered as school holidays, e.g., Good Friday, Memorial Day and Spring Break, etc."

Those in the Palestine ISD say a uniform school calendar from the state would be much more helpful than the suggestions in the letter.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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