Only Good Friday Makes the Cut

February 7, 2007

Author: Letitia Stein

Source: St. Petersburg Times

TAMPA - Good Friday is the only religious holiday recognized in the latest version of Hillsborough's controversial school calendar.

But the idea of treating Christians differently from Jews and Muslims divided the committee of teachers, parents and school administrators who are making calendar recommendations.

"I think that opens a can of worms," said Leigh Crosson, a teacher at Bevis Elementary in east Hillsborough, during the committee meeting Tuesday.

It marked a reversal of the group's stance last fall, when members proposed a calendar recognizing no religious holidays.

Last year, the School Board passed a similarly secular calendar - and came under a firestorm of criticism for being antireligious. Under a national spotlight, the board backpedaled and restored existing Christian and Jewish holidays.

Once again, the School Board has final approval of the calendar for the coming school year - and whether religion belongs in it.