"Eliminate All School Holidays," a Commentary by The Baltimore Examiner

April 3, 2007

Author: The Baltimore Examiner

Source: The Baltimore Examiner


BALTIMORE - Here’s a simple solution to the controversy in Baltimore County public schools about which religious holidays to officially recognize: Eliminate them all.

The question comes up because the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wants to add at least one Islamic holiday to the 2008-09 school year in Baltimore County. Members say schools have closed for two Jewish holidays since 1997. And of course, winter breaks and spring vacations coincide with Christmas and Easter.

School board President Donald Arnold has said closure for the two Jewish holidays is a practical matter, based on court decisions allowing official holidays when absences by enough students and personnel would affect operations.

However, he doesn’t have data to prove it. Neither does the AAADC.

Besides, school vacations are a practical matter, not a religious one. It must be like the highest of all high holy days in Garrett County — opening of deer season — when government closes schools and just about everything else, right?