Religious school holidays scrapped in U.S. county
Religious labels will be removed from school holidays starting next year in Montgomery County public schools in the state of Maryland, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The decision, which came following a 7 to 1 vote of the county’s Board of Education, did not satisfy Muslim leaders who did not gain any day off for the Muslim holiday of Eid.
“Equality is really what we’re looking for,” Saqib Ali, a former Maryland state delegate and co-chair of Equality for Eid, said.
“Simply saying we’re not going to call this Christmas, and we’re not going to call this Yom Kippur, and still closing the schools, that’s not equality,” Ali said.
Muslims have been requesting from Montgomery schools the recognition of some major Muslim holidays for years.
In Montgomery, students who miss classes on religious holidays are given excused absences.
Ike Leggett, a County executive, said he would have taken a different tactic if the decision were up to him.
“I would simply add Eid to the existing holidays they already have without substituting any other holidays,” Leggett said.