Posts tagged "Muslim holidays"
June 30, 2009
For over a year, a coalition of Muslim New Yorkers has lobbied the Department of Education to change its policy. The mayor has said he does not favor including the two holidays because it would shorten the school year and could lead other religious groups to demand that their holidays be included as well.
Amy Sugimori, a spokeswoman for the coalition, said the group would continue to lobby the mayor “to come up with a solution that works for everybody,” she said, adding that she didn’t expect the policy to change in the upcoming school year.
Councilman Robert Jackson, who chairs the Education Committee, is Muslim and supports the change in policy.
“Having to choose whether to send your children to school on your highest, holiest holidays where there may be an exam or stuff like that, it’s a clash situation and it should not have to happen,” Jackson told Politicker.
He said the mayor was “not being open-minded, he’s not being flexible, he’s not being inclusive.” (more…)
June 18, 2009
The City Council’s education committee voted today to recommend closing schools on two Muslim holy days observed by as many as 10 percent of the city’s schoolchildren. But the advisory vote is unlikely to change the city schools’ calendar, unless Mayor Bloomberg has a change of heart about slimming down the school year.
Several council members said during the vote this morning that they were conflicted about recommending that schools be closed for any length of time. But only one, Oliver Koppell of the Bronx, voted against the resolution during the main round of voting. Ten council members cast yes votes at that time, and at least three others added their yes votes as the committee continued its main hearing, on high school graduation requirements.
The vote followed a hearing nine months ago on the subject, when dozens of people testified in favor of having the days off and not a single person testified against them, committee chair Robert Jackson said today. Muslim families and religious leaders have been pushing for the holidays since 2006, when students were scheduled to take state tests on the first day of Eid Ul-Adha, one of Islam’s holiest days. (more…)