In an effort to keep things ultra politically correct, a Maryland school district has gone so far as to remove all religious holidays from its calendar. That means Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Ramadan—you name it—will be gone from the school calendar from here on out.
Think that sounds a bit extreme? You're not alone. Many parents are not happy with the ruling—most of all, Muslim parents who found it pretty appalling that the board of ed would rather remove holidays altogether than add Eid al-Adha to its calendar. While they had asked (and previously been denied) days off for the holiday before, next year marks a rare time when Eid al-Adha falls on the same day as Yom Kippur, meaning students would get the day off any way. So instead, Muslim parents simply asked that "Eid al-Adha" be called out on the calendar to show its equal importance.
"I respect and appreciate so much that this is a very personal issue for so many people," continued Smondrowski, who added that she "was in no way trying to imply that I don’t respect people’s religious practices. I do."
School board Vice President Patricia O’Neill backed her up, saying she feels that given the circumstances, the school board made the right decision. "It seems we’ve made multiple religious groups mad, but I believe we did the right thing,” she said. "And we’re in good company. Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun—all are silent in calling out Christmas; they call it 'winter break.'"
So what will happen on major holidays like Christmas and Yom Kippur? The school will in fact be closed, but the "official reason" will note high absenteeism, and not make mention of any religious reasons.