Asked to add Eid al-Adha, Maryland school district takes the Grinch's option
A school board's Grinch-like move has local Muslim leaders upset.
After repeated requests by Muslim leaders to add Eid al-Adha to school holidays, a Maryland school district has taken a Grinch-like option - it struck all references to religious holidays from its published calendar, The Washington Post reported.
The move by Montgomery County officials won't have any practical effects as students will still be off on Christmas, Yom Kippur and other Jewish and Christian holidays, the paper reported. But it denies Muslim students a chance to see their holidays given equal billing, and forces them to take an "excused absence" and risk falling behind their peers.
The new days off listed on the calendar are the same as the old ones - and they just happen to coincide with major religious holidays celebrated by most teachers and students, the Post said. But the school board is arguing that the vacations are not meant to recognize religious holidays, and instead reflect closures required by the state, and days with high numbers of absent students and staff.
Muslim leaders were surprised by the decision and painted it as a cynical move to avoid giving Muslim events equal treatment, the paper said.