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Low attendance in Grand Rapids schools could be result of immigrant protests

Empty classroom
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Empty classroom.

Large numbers of students were absent from Grand Rapids Public Schools today.

Officials with the school district believe this was because of the nationwide "Day Without Immigrants" protest.

So many students were absent that the district might not be able to count this as an instructional day. School administrators may have to add an extra school day to the calendar.

John Helmholdt, a spokesperson for the school district, said no students will be punished for missing school due to the protest.

“We truly honor and respect it, but now the event is over and it's back to school time,” Helmholdt said. “Let's make sure we get 100% of our students back in school on Friday.”

Helmholdt said the school district might be able to use one of its three remaining snow days instead of extending the school year, but he said there could be financial repercussions if not enough students attended to count as a regular school day.

“We're still going to be meeting on Monday with our board of education, we're going to assess what, if any, revenue loss it would be and how we would apply it between the district budget and the school budgets,” he said. 

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