- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Muslim holidays rejected by board
Baltimore County public school officials have said that adding Muslim holidays to the school calendars is unlawful and “irresponsible,” marking another setback in attempts across the region to add the holidays.
Muslim supporters wanted schools to close for Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, and Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.
A few dozen members of the county’s chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee asked for the change at a school board meeting Tuesday night.
School officials, however, stood firm by a state law that disallows public schools from endorsing any religion, saying the school calendar can include scheduled closures only for holidays that cause low attendance rates countywide.
Kara Calder, school board spokeswoman, said yesterday that officials have adhered to Maryland law.
“The board’s position has been — and remains — that the primary obligation is to educate students and meet requirements,” she said.
The anti-discrimination committee has pushed its request for the past several years, calling it an issue of equality because schools recognize Jewish and Christian holidays.
County school board President Donald L. Arnold said after the board meeting Tuesday night that the change would be “irresponsible” because the law is explicit, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Miss Calder wasn’t sure why the group broached the issue Tuesday night, since it was not on the meeting agenda.
She surmised that it was a last chance to publicly address the issue with the board before formal discussion of the school calendar next month.
The group could not be reached yesterday.
County schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston will consider recommendations for his proposed 2008-09 school calendar. The board will vote on the calendar in June or July.
Most of the other area systems said they don’t track students’ religion and don’t acknowledge most religious holidays. However, they will excuse students for recognized religious holidays, even if they aren’t on the official school calendar.
Prince George’s County prohibits scheduling tests, meetings, workshops, field trips or other special activities on those days.
The county’s 2007-08 calendar includes an official school holiday to mark the month of Ramadan, though it is coupled with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana.
About the Author
Tarron Lively is the deputy editor of the Continuous News Desk.
- Medics' lawsuit dropped for now
- Muslim holidays rejected by board
- Candidates split on racism of camera sites
- Race 'no factor' in camera locations
- 'Spy' cameras net a $3.3 million haul
Latest Blog Entries
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Soldier who hid to avoid saluting the flag to be punished in secret; Army won't release details
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: Harry Reid's corrupt Senate house of cards
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again