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District Oversight Leads To School On MLK Day

GIBSONIA (KDKA) – Some parents and children of the Pine Richland school district are upset, after classes were not canceled in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The school district says it originally scheduled the day as a holiday, but decided to use the day as a makeup day that the students took off in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. To make things more confusing to parents, there's no school tomorrow because of a clerical day.

The reaction of district parents was varied.

"They're actually learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. today, so it's actually a really good thing," Pine-Richland parent Jennifer Barkley said. "But we were able to talk too about it earlier today, so we're happy about it. It's fine."

But some parents were slightly less understanding and didn't know why children had to go to school Monday, but not Tuesday.

"I just wished I understood why it was off, you know, Tuesday instead of Monday," parent Jen Hopkins said. "I guess that's all I really wanted to know."

District PR spokesperson Rachel Hathhorn says they are without a superintendent right now, and it was an oversight.

They will make the holiday a top priority going forward.

This is a statement released by the district:
"Originally, school was not in session. The district scheduled Jan. 21, 2013 as the first emergency make-up day a year ago. The district typically uses the first emergency day to make up any cancelled days. Scheduling a make-up day on Jan. 21, 2013 was unintentional. The district understands the importance of recognizing Martin Luther King Day and is taking great care in its future planning. Students are participating in special projects and lessons to mark the significance of Martin Luther King Day."

"They probably should have thought of it a little better and flip-flopped it," parent Lori Timmons said. "But I don't think they really meant anything by it."

Students at the school say attendance was so low, they were confused as to why they had to be there.

"The hallways are really empty, there was like no one in class," Pine-Richland sophomore Megan Shulkosky said.

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