Clayton County Schools makes Juneteenth a paid holiday for employees

The Clayton County Board of Education on Monday approved legislation making Juneteenth a paid holiday for employees.

The unanimous decision will change the 2021-2022 academic calendar to reflect the new policy next June 19 when the holiday, which received federal recognition for the first time earlier this year, is celebrated.

Juneteenth is an annual celebration commemorating the day when enslaved Blacks in Texas learned they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier.

Board chairwoman Jessie Goree called on her colleagues to consider the change in early July, saying she wanted to make sure the school system marks the occasion.

“While it doesn’t impact all employees because we only have a certain number of employees that work 12 months out of the year, we are requesting that date as identified be a paid holiday for the employees that are impacted,” Superintendent Morcease Beasley said.