Schools should reconsider validity of ‘Holiday for All’

Imagine for a second that your religion is constantly being criticized. Imagine that your ancestors had to spend their lives defending what they believed in. Imagine that you are prevented from observing your traditions because of someone else’s rules.

Some people would insist that equality has been fully achieved over the years, but I believe our world will never reach full equality.

All Brevard public schools will be closed April 22, for the Christian holiday, Good Friday. Many students will take this as a second Saturday, maybe a day to study for exams because not even the public libraries will be closing. It’s a known, if unspoken, reality that only a pious few plan to attend Good Friday services.

If the Brevard School Board chooses to recognize this Christian holiday as one worthy for all public schools to be closed, they must consider all other religions on the same level. Therefore, closing schools for all religions sacred holidays, or no religions at all is the only way to achieve equality.

On the District Calendar, the only description listed for Friday is “Holiday for All”, while other days that are listed as holidays include specifics about the purpose of closing all schools and interrupting this busy spring season.

Speaking from a Jewish perspective, I have to miss school for religious holidays. For the several days in the fall that God requires our attendance at temple, a regular school day continues. As God commands us to put our lives on hold to remember our ancestors who have lost their lives for us, we cannot truly fulfill his request because of the makeup work that awaits our return.

To say this “Holiday for All” conveniently falls during Passover to give the Jewish people a time to observe Passover, is not a legitimate argument. In the Jewish religion, the sacred days of Passover are the first and seventh days, which this year was April 19 and April 25.

If the School Board cancelled school for other religion’s holy days, my generation might be more open-minded about differences. The details and beliefs don’t need to be enforced in public schools, but it would make for all students to acknowledge other religion’s traditions and customs more than “eating the crackers during Passover” or “spinning a top for money”.

Just because Christians greatly outnumber the Jewish population in our community doesn’t entitle anyone to different treatments. All people are created equal, and the school system should consider that while determining the school year calendars.

Should the school board be willing to give a day off which most students will spend praying only for good beach weather, it is their responsibility to either accommodate all religions or none at all.

By Millie Rosasco, sophomore