County schools commemorate Veterans Day - by law
For local school districts, state mandates come in all forms. Some dictate what curriculum schools must follow, some determine whether a school must provide a breakfast program, others regulate transportation requirements. Many come unfunded and have a tendency to further strain already tight budgets. One law in particular, though, some local superintendents don't mind. It’s the requirement that schools recognize Veterans Day.
“I like that we do something to honor veterans,” said Jeff Cullum, superintendent of Alexander Local Schools. His father is a former Marine.
“It gives the students a better understanding of who veterans are and what they do," he continued. "It’s also a chance to give our students a better understanding of what it means to serve your country.”
Even without the law, Cullum said his district would continue to commemorate the day. The district’s elementary school hosted an assembly Monday morning. The middle and high schools will host theirs on Tuesday morning. Schools around the county hosted special programming either on Friday or Monday.
Trimble Local Schools held assemblies at all three schools on Monday. Supt. Kim Jones agreed with Cullum about the day's importance.
"We would recognize this day with or without legal mandate," she said via email. "We think it is important both to honor our veterans and to educate our students about the serious nature of military service."
Superintendents from the other districts could not be reached for comment prior to The Messenger's deadline.
What districts do to mark the day is left up to the individual school boards to decide. According to Ohio Revised Code, each district is required to “devote time on or about Veterans' Day to an observance that conveys the meaning and significance of that day. The amount of time each school devotes to this observance shall be at least one hour or, in schools that schedule class periods of less than one hour, at least one standard class period.”
Other holidays schools are required to commemorate include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12), George Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22) and Memorial Day (May 13). While state law permits schools to dismiss for holidays such as Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day or the Fourth of July, they’re not specifically required to commemorate them during school hours.
“This is one of the few mandates I’ve never complained about,” Cullum added. “It’s a good cause.”