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Should Religious Holidays be Public School Holidays?

Posted by on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

First Grader with Santa at Her School in Danville, KY

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After yesterday’s post about the infuriating behavior of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools—they refused membership to Iman Academy, a Muslim school in the state, and made headlines by refusing to reschedule a game with a Jewish Orthodox school (the game fell on the Sabbath)—I’ve been thinking a lot about religious holy days and public education. Christmas has always been a school holiday, while other non-Christian holidays like Hanukkah or the two Muslim holidays of Eid, have not. I think this is an important issue to discuss. If we are giving kids days off for Christmas, don’t we have an obligation to respect all other religious days? If we don’t respect other religious days, should we start having school on Christmas?

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School Sports: When Religion Makes it Tough to Play Ball

Posted by on Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Iman Academy Thunderbolts Preparing for a Tournament

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I was an athlete all through school. I played soccer and basketball for all four years of high school and all four years of college. We played a lot of parochial schools in our league. They would pray before games and again afterwards. We also played Orthodox Jewish schools and had to plan our games around Jewish holidays. I don’t ever remember there being any conflict about the fact that we were playing religiously oriented teams so I was rather surprised to read about the recent controversy in Texas.

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