Students in Montgomery County, Maryland will still have off from school on Christmas and Yom Kippur — but the school calendar will no longer call those holidays “Christmas” or “Yom Kippur.”
The county’s Board of Education voted Tuesday afternoon to remove any mentions of any religious holidays on the calendar next school year.
The issue stemmed from the schools being closed for Jewish holidays but not for Muslim ones.
The Muslim holiday of Eid Al Adha coincides with Yom Kippur on Sept. 23, 2015.
Since schools do not close for Muslim holidays, Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr recommended the Board of Education eliminate the references to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on the 2015-2016 calendar.
The board voted to approve the recommendation Tuesday.
County executive Ike Leggett said Monday 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.
Parent Samira Hussein, who is also a school employee, has campaigned for the past 20 years to have the Muslim holiday added to the school calendar.
“The Eid is just the same exact as Christmas day or Easter day or Yom Kippur,” she said. “The children want to home with their families. This is a family holiday that God designated and gave us the time to celebrate and be joyous.”
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SOURCE: NBC Washington