Logistical Issues Concerning Closing Schools for Religious Holidays

January 23, 2003

Source: The Boston Globe

On January 23, 2003 The Boston Globe reported that "parents asked school officials at a School Committee meeting last week to do more to accommodate students who want to observe the Jewish High Holy Days - if making those days holidays is not practical, parents said... The Regional School Committee of Berlin and Boylston postponed until Feb. 5 a decision on whether to close for the holy days so committee members could get more information about the district's demographics and policies in neighboring communities... Committee member Roger Deal agreed that staff members should be mindful of different religious practices and make arrangements for students who might be unable to do work during the observance of a holy day... However, he expressed concern that closing school on the Jewish High Holy Days could lead to requests from other religious groups, such as Muslims, for days off on their holy days. Giving the same treatment to all religions could become impractical, he said."