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Hillsborough County School Board members agreed to explore adding Ahmed Bedir of CAIR was pleased the school board listened to a proposal for Muslim holidays.
They told the school administration’s calendar committee to take a thorough look at vacation days for the 2006-2007 school year, including an examination of religious holidays for various faiths.
Ahmed Bedier, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR) in Tampa, said he hopes the door has opened to some day
having a student day off timed with a Muslim holiday. He also believes
people of other faiths may also benefit.
“It is important, because at the end of the day these are children that
you’re alienating,” Bedier said. “When they attend school and see
Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever other religious holiday being recognized
and theirs is ignored, they feel like they don’t count.”
Several members of the Muslim community recently asked the board to grant the holidays off, and to also include the days on the school system’s master calendar so that teachers will not schedule assignments and activities on those days.
Board members said effective immediately the district’s calendar will list the Muslim holidays so that teachers and principals can take them into account.
They vowed a renewed commitment to an existing policy that allows students to take time off for religious holidays, with proper notice, without affecting exam exemptions and perfect attendance honors”¦