School District Changes Names Of Religious Holidays To Make Them Sound Less Religious… Instead Of Adding Muslim Holidays To The List
Christmas, Easter, and Yom Kippur are getting erased from this school’s calendar!
A school district in Maryland will still be giving days off to students on certain religious holidays, but it’s the names of the religious holidays that are being nixed from the calendar!
The rules, which will be applied to the calendar for 2015-2016, were successfully voted into effect and many believe the reason is because Muslim community leaders had recently petitioned for students to have days off of certain Muslim holidays.
And one former Maryland state delegate is upset by how everything went down!
Here’s what Saqib Ali said:
“By stripping the names Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they have alienated other communities now, and we are no closer to equality. It’s a pretty drastic step, and they did it without any public notification.”
The board’s vote went down this past Tuesday, and at least one explanation for why no Muslim holidays were added to the school’s calendar indicated that the size of the Muslim population in this Maryland school district would not warrant such a move.
Here’s what one spokesperson for Montgomery County Public Schools Dana Tofig said:
“High absenteeism is the main reason. The absentee rate on the Eid holidays, when they’ve fallen on a school day, haven’t been considerably higher or lower than it is on any other given day.”
Well, that doesn’t seem very fair!
The Muslim holiday that many wanted the school to consider giving all students the day off is the holy holiday Eid al-Adha.
Here’s what co-chair for the Equality for Eid Coalition Zainab Chaudry said:
“They would remove the Christian holidays and they would remove the Jewish holidays from the calendar before they would consider adding the Muslim holiday to the calendar.”
So in terms of Christmas, which of course happens in December, that will now be just called a “winter break,” while the time off around Easter will now be “spring break,” and Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will now be marked on the calendar as just days where there is “no school for students and teachers.”
This is definitely a BIG change from how the rest of the country does it.
Although we doubt any kids are going to mind about this as long as they get the days off!
However, we would hope show the kids at the school why this decision actually super important — as we’re sure a lot of people out there are scratching their heads as to why they wouldn’t just add the few holidays the Muslim community would like.
Equality should be across the board.