HOUSTON - While many people are enjoying a day off this Memorial Day, several school districts scheduled classes. It created a controversy, but it also turned in a real-life history lesson.
From campuses in Fort Bend ISD to Houston ISD and in the Katy school district, students took time out of the classroom to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom.
"I'm so glad that they're here on Memorial Day because if they weren't here, where would they be," said one parent.
"I think it's great because it makes us remember the importance of this day and how many people fought for our freedoms," one student told Local 2.
This holiday is usually spent away from school with family, but several districts scheduled classes on Memorial Day to make up for one that was canceled because of bad weather.
Most schools held Memorial Day themed activities, like at Rice School, where students lined up to form the American flag in their red, white, and blue uniforms.
"This is our last year here since we are in 8th grade, it is a good time to share with our friends and learn something new," said student Lacey Singleton.
But this Memorial Day celebration didn't come without controversy.
"It is a national holiday to remember out troops and I think they should have picked another day. We could have made it up any other day," said Lee Ochoa.
School districts did worry about the Memorial Day student attendance since state funding is tied to the number of students who show up and are counted present. On Monday, Katy ISD had an attendance rate of 80.64 percent -- meaning almost 20 percent of the districts students were absent.
"The most important thing is remembering what this day is all about and I think we've gotten away from that as a nation and a lot of the pushback was from those who had other plans...I respect that, but we're about education," Alton Fraily, Katy ISD superintendent.
While some parents kept their children out of school, others like Paul Arce's mother watched proudly as he remembered those who sacrificed for our county.
"It was amazing to see him do this and lead this," said Mickel Arce.
"I know this was planned to be a holiday and a lot of people were planning on sleeping in staying home but it's a good day to remember those who have gone before us who've fought for our freedoms," said Paul Arce.
School districts can apply for a state waiver if attendance is low on Memorial Day.
Montgomery ISD, Dickinson ISD and Sheldon ISD also held classes Monday.
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