Boise State student Eric Love will miss his college classes Monday because he is teaching a lesson of his own.

The subject: Martin Luther King Jr.The 22-year-old junior will lead a protest and sit-in against the university's decision to hold classes on King's birthday.

The slain civil rights leader's birthday was designated a legal national holiday in 1986. The following year, the Idaho Legislature established a commemorative day for King, but declined to make it a legal holiday.

"Martin Luther King's birthday should be more recognized here in Idaho," said Love, a psychology major and president of the Black Student Union.

He said a bigger observance is needed here because of the publicity over the white supremacist Aryan Nations activity in northern Idaho.

Love decided a week ago not to attend school. After discussing the issue with friends, he took a proposal to BSU President John Keiser to cancel classes. The request was denied, but support has poured in from many others.

Love said King's overwhelming influence deserves better recognition.

"It's honoring a man who made a massive social change in this country through social means," Love said. "I'm black, and it's hard to conceive that at one time I couldn't use the same bathrooms as a white person, or stare into their eyes or had to sit in the back of a bus. I'm sure that I might not now enjoy those freedoms if Martin Luther King hadn't lived."