Public schools increasingly are being forced to grapple with how to accommodate Muslim students' needs, during Ramadan and throughout the school year, and some cases have spurred community debate.
"We're getting a lot of those inquiries right now because it's sort of ... the new issue they're contending with," said Tom Hutton, a lawyer with the National School Boards Association, which provides school officials with broad guidance on such topics occasionally.
Generally, he said, "schools try to bend over backwards to accommodate religious needs."
Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States, according to a 2002 State Department publication, so it isn't surprising that schools are fielding more special requests. . .
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that usually on questions of accommodations for Muslims, "parents and school administrators work out these things in an amicable way." (READ MORE)