As an educator who works privately with students across the state of Massachusetts, I was appalled to learn that some schools, such as Dana Hall of Wellesley, have chosen not to honor Veterans Day. This particular private institution has chosen to utilize its right to dictate its own academic calendar and not educate its students to honor veterans. Instead of spending the day teaching pupils to appreciate the men and women who have fought for American freedom, some teachers at Dana Hall have scheduled tests, thus preventing students from taking the day off to attend town parades or family events. What type of message does this send to adolescents? (The future generation of America!)
Dana Hall opted to schedule a random “school holiday” at the end of October, instead of giving students November 11th off in honor of the people who have fought for their rights. Interestingly, Dana Hall has a high amount of international students who board on its campus. Even with a large population of non-American students, Dana Hall should not only honor Veterans Day as a school holiday, but also educate its students to have a true appreciation for the American military. The truth is, the international student population would not be here, obtaining top-notch American educations, if it were not for the American men and women who risked their lives to attain and preserve American freedom. The international students should be taught to honor our veterans and feel a deep sense of gratitude for their sacrifices. Dana Hall could have put the effort forth to instill such values; however, it has chosen to not even list Veterans Day on its academic calendar. As a daughter and friend of American veterans, I find this rude, appalling, and disrespectful to our nation. I cannot imagine how students feel who attend Dana Hall and have family members in the military. Personally, I do not think I could sit in a classroom under an administration so outwardly ignorant to patriotism, respect, and core American values.
On the contrary, yesterday, a sixth grade student told me that his school (High Rock in Needham) had students write letters to soldiers and watch a video about veterans, so that they would understand the meaning behind the holiday. High Rock did not merely say, “we are giving students Veterans Day off, so we can leave it at that,” they went as far as spending the day before Veterans Day teaching students to respect, honor, and appreciate American soldiers. I tip my hat off to the educators at High Rock, as well as the other private and public institutions that took the time to sow American values into the lives of adolescents. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Administrators of Dana Hall, I challenge you to reconsider your decision to dishonor our veterans and denote Veterans Day as a school holiday when you devise your 2015-2016 academic calendar. Stop oppressing your students who want to celebrate this meaningful American holiday and start honoring the people who made it possible for you to even have a school in the United States.