Words: Vaishnavi Mahalingam
On January 14, the Howard County School Board voted to add additional days off for several holidays from different religions and cultures. After a long debate over school attendance during the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, the board members voted in favor of keeping the breaks in the school calendar for those two days. In addition, students will not have school for the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha; the eve of Lunar New Year; and the Hindu holiday, Diwali.
Opponents of the vote stated that the students should have days off from school only on state or federally mandated holidays, according to an article from The Washington Post. Once certain holidays from specific cultures are acknowledged, the door is open to every holiday from every religion being an opportunity for a break from school.
Supporters of the vote stated that the changes in the school calendar will result in inclusiveness and acceptance for all religions and cultures throughout the county.
The changes in the calendar will take effect in the 2016-2017 school year while board officials continue to look into the topic.
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