The Holiday Crush
In response to a local Muslim group's request for observance of an Islamic holy day, the Hillsborough County (Florida) School Board canceled all religious holidays:
Her voice small and hesitant, 11-year-old Rahma Elmohd told Hillsborough County School Board members Tuesday night that she would like it a lot if students could get one day off for a Muslim holiday.Lest anyone think that Muslims are happy over this, NewsBlaze is reporting that Muslim groups are actually urging the Board to restore the observance of the Christian and Jewish holidays.
It was not to be.
Nearly a year after local Muslims first asked that an Islamic holiday be recognized by the school district -- just like Yom Kippur for Jews and Good Friday for Christians -- board members voted to end vacation days for all religious holidays.
The board voted 5-1 for a 2006-07 calendar that substitutes three secular vacation days for three Christian and Jewish holidays.
About 50 Muslims, many of them women and girls wearing scarves, attended the packed meeting. Several said they worry about a backlash against Muslims.
The approved calendar eliminates vacation days coinciding with Yom Kippur, Good Friday and the Monday after Easter.
The days will be replaced with time off on Washington's Birthday in February and two days near the end of the school year, which will give students and teachers a four-day weekend.