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Duplin Schools Open on Memorial Day

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He says it's sending the wrong message to our kids. A Duplin County man is outraged that his son has to go to school on Memorial Day. "I'm severely disgusted with the school system here in Duplin County," says Duplin County parent Greg Lashmet. While planning a family vacation, Greg Lashmet was shocked to learn his son, who attends Wallace Elementary in Duplin County, had school on Memorial Day. "I was angry. I'm a combat vet. I served in iraq. I served in this country for six years, put my life on the line," says Lashmet. "I called the school to find out if the calendar was right. They told me the calendar was right. It didn't make sense to me." 56:33 By law, North Carolina schools must have 180 days of instruction. The State Board of Education lets each county decide which holidays to give students off. The only holiday schools are required to be closed is Veteran's Day. "The previous administration and the Board of Education thought it was more important for those students to have a day of instruction, toward the end of the year, just two weeks before their end-of-course tests in order to be better prepared for those tests," says Duplin County Associate Superintendent Randy Shaver. But even so, those we spoke with say opening school doors on Memorial Day is keeping students from learning the true meaning of the day. "It's not about the politics of if you're for or against wars. It's about the men and women who gave their lives in those wars," says Lashmet. "We need to make sure we make Memorial Day important, and make sure we commemorate it and observe it," says former Wake County teacher Debra Greene. That's why, starting next year, the Duplin County School Board will begin observing Memorial Day -- hoping that students will learn more outside the classroom, about the true message of the holiday.

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