(SEATTLE, WA, 3/13/19) – The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on all Americans who value religious freedoms to send a message to members of the Seattle Public School Board demanding they respect religious observances after a local elementary school asked students not to fast during Ramadan.
In an email sent to parents on Tuesday, the principal of Thurgood Marshall Elementary School suggested that parents of Muslim children should allow children to eat on testing days and ensure that children get “sufficient sleep” the night before testing days.
“This is a consistent issue with the Seattle Public School System,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Masih Fouladi. “If they are committed to making education equally accessible to all then they need to be committed to honoring diverse religious practices in the community.”
CAIR-WA’s Action Alert Demands:
- Thurgood Marshall Elementary and the Seattle School District retract and apologize for their email to parents
- Thurgood Marshall Elementary and the Seattle School District meet with CAIR-WA and other interfaith community leaders on how they can better sensitize themselves to the practices and needs of their Muslim students
- The Seattle School District commit to taking religious holidays and practices into account when setting their yearly calendar
Ramadan lasts a month, is often observed through fasting during daylight hours, which often means late nights for observant families. Ramadan is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar. It is inappropriate for a school to suggest how children should celebrate a holiday.
CAIR-WA has prioritized religious accommodations in schools by supporting a Senate Bill ensuring religious accommodations for postsecondary students, sending out letters to schools throughout the state informing them of Muslim holidays and practices, and offering training and consultation to schools looking to increase their sensitivity and knowledge of Islam.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
Media Contact: CAIR-WA Media and Outreach Director, Sarah Stutevillesstuteville@cair.com 206-403-3931