Muslims ask Waterbury school calendar to note holidays

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — It was standing room only as the Muslim community in Waterbury turned out to show support as the board of education considered what to do about Muslim Holidays.

Syed Ather was at the meeting and says the students are caught between tests and their religious beliefs.

“These holidays are obligated for us and some children decide to celebrate the holidays, and others decide to go to school and take the test and at the end of the day both are unhappy because they feel guilty,” said Ather.

In the meeting, the superintendent pointed out that there is a rule on the books that states if a student misses a day of school for religious reasons it is an excused absence and will not be held against the student. Thursday night they are asking for the school board to take it one step further. There were more than 300 signatures on a petition asking the board to act, so President Charles Stango drafted a proposal.

“I would advise the superintendent to draft a memo advising principals and teachers to be sensitive to all cultural holidays,” said Stango.

While it won’t be a day off, teachers will be asked not to schedule exams, concerts, filed trips, or any other major school activity during two of the most important holidays. The matter is expected to be voted on next week.

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