Most Mount Ida students raced around campus between periods, but not everyone attended their classes Monday.
"We should not have school on this day," said Anthony Raymo.
In what he's calling an 'act of civil disobedience' Raymo skipped school and used the time instead to reflect.
Raymo, you see, is the only black student at Mount Ida High.
"I hope they know I'm not trying to make this a joke I'm trying to make this serious," said Raymo.
Taking this stand under the guidance of his youth minister who made sure this wasn't simply an excuse for the teen to play hooky.
"If you're going to do this you better do it right," said Colin Page, "You better learn a little more about Dr. King."
25 of Raymo's classmates also stayed home.
Page stressed they were encouraged to join only if they had upstanding grades.
A small lesson that taking this stand was a privilege and inspired by the namesake of this holiday.
"Dr. King was a huge proponent of education being a tool for empowerment and leadership," said Page.
"We had more students watching the inauguration here at school than if they had been at home," said Mount Ida Superintendent Jeanne Smith.
She said students were taught about the day's significance during class, but plans on creating a committee of history teachers to determine whether the district will close for the holiday in the future.
"We will look at doing our school calendar differently," she said.
Adding her student's determination to stand up for what he believes was inspiring, "Is that not the American way?"
"I just don't think it's right to go," Raymo said.
Even if this day off means working twice as hard to catch back up.
Mount Ida is not alone here, and many Arkansas school districts also held classes Monday.