should religious holidays be celebrated in public schools

I’m not arguing that all religious dates should be holidays for staff and students. 2. Easter and Passover are just around the corner. There are Atheists who used to be religious (I know a few) and they used to celebrate holidays according to their tradition, beliefs, or how their religion demands that it be celebrated (such as Catholics or Jews and how they celebrate in December), now they don't anymore but instead just recognize those as days where "Gifts for me!! Free Online Library: Should public schools celebrate religious holidays? Q: How should religious holidays be treated in the classroom? Every educator wants classroom and school celebrations to be just that — celebratory. That figure includes 48% who feel all religious holidays should be celebrated in public schools. Perhaps one of the first considerations should be which holidays and traditions are celebrated in school — and why. Religious Freedom The constitution dictates that every person has the right to practice whatever religion they would like, at anytime and anywhere that they would like. On the other hand, if you have struggling students in your classroom, this could also have the effect of taking away key learning opportunities. Now, that’s the kind of lesson I want for my kids. The same can be said of holidays and traditions that are commonly celebrated in the U.S. Are people who do not celebrate Christmas or Halloween, or another holiday or tradition, present and able to give their input, thoughts and opinions about the subject in a way that is recognized and heard? MPR News Staff January 28, 2016, 9:18 AM Jan 28, 2016. In a changing America, getting holidays right in public schools isn’t easy. Cultural and holiday celebrations have been a part of the fabric in U.S. schools for decades. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. Even though my family is not particularly observant, I feel strongly that major religious holidays should be treated equally at school and in the workplace. Certain cultures and religious traditions, for example, do not celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, and some students may need to excuse themselves from the classroom during holiday parties and activities. 1) Should public schools end religious holidays because honoring Christian holidays is unfair to other religions? They have. New York City recently added two Muslim holidays to their school calendar. : Answering the tough questions>, Why is my tween suddenly interested in faith?>. Given these mixed feelings toward cultural and holiday celebrations and presentations, educators should take the following considerations into mind as they plan and celebrate the cultural and holiday traditions of the country and the populations they serve. However, others believe these celebrations potentially cause more harm than good, taking precious academic learning time from students or "tokenizing" other cultures, creating division and supremacist attitudes, and representing world cultures in simplistic or stereotypical ways. Is there a particular threshold for a number of students or community members when choosing which traditions or holidays to celebrate? However, we should consider which holidays and celebrations are a part of the school and why, the amount of time dedicated to these celebrations and how we might make them relevant to each of our students, increasing inclusivity and cultural responsiveness in schools and ultimately in our society. The high court has ruled, however, that the government may not erect an explicitly & Since 2005, teachers have received multi-faith calendars they can refer to when planning out the school year. In terms of celebrations and holiday traditions, what purpose are they serving? Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), one of the most significant holidays for Muslims, both happen a week later. Are the people planning a culture night, for example, representatives from the cultures being celebrated? September 16, 2002. Could this also be the case with holidays being celebrated in schools? Here’s how. Dear public schools: Not everyone is Christian. Religious holidays. Canada, especially its larger cities, is becoming more ethnically and religiously diverse. Schools should recognize non-Christian religious holidays – … A Teachable Moment. Students may have family and ancestors from various parts of the world, and may have grown up in the United States, but are not necessarily ambassadors or representatives of the culture that their ancestors come from. However, schools may consider closing when large numbers of student and teacher absences are anticipated. Why we go to synagogue, even though I’m an atheist>, What does God mean? At times, these celebrations and parties are conducted just before holiday breaks, as students are excited and potentially more focused on vacation than doing academic work. But that is not necessarily the right way to solve the "December Dilemma." Schempp (1963), in which they “ruled that public schools may not sponsor religious practices but may not teach about religion.” Religious holidays should thus be considered as subparts of the large American culture, which has evolved to include an unimaginable number of different religions; this especially pertains to the ever-diverse city of New York. Similarly, holidays such as Mother's Day and Father's Day can bring painful reminders of parents who are no longer living, are absent or who have been abusive — not all students have a loving relationship with their parents. These events can and should be a way to build awareness of others, sensitivity and responsiveness to other ways of thinking and doing things, and not a way to create divisiveness among students by creating a "my cultural celebrations are better than yours" environment. Are they meant to bring awareness of the history of the holiday, to bring fun and excitement to the classroom, or to bring unity and assimilation to U.S. culture? Your Industry Needs YOUR Expert Voice How difficult is it to not schedule a meeting for a small handful of days a year so that other faiths can observe their sacred events? This is what the Peel District School Board (which serves Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga in Ontario) does. Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. We've got the platform you need. Through reading great classic and contemporary works of literature representative of a variety of periods, cultures, and worldviews, students can vicariously inhabit worlds and have experiences much different than their own.". The time taken for these celebrations may well be worthwhile to build community, celebrate and have fun with students. © Copyright 2021 St. Joseph Communications. Every educator wants classroom and school celebrations to be just that, Business Management, Services & Risk Management. However, they can't require kids to attend school over those holidays, particularly those kids who observe those holidays. It is important that we also remember that a student's ethnic heritage is not necessarily directly tied to their cultural practices. The CCSS state: "Students appreciate that the 21st-century classroom and workplace are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together. Lunar New Year, celebrated in January or February and is the biggest holiday of the year in Chinese and Korean culture. Recently there has been a lot of debate on whether or not public schools should celebrate or even acknowledge Christmas. The leading source for targeted, industry specific news briefs. How kids of other faiths are getting shortchanged. In the U.S., public schools may educate students about holidays with respect to cultural education but may not actually celebrate a holiday if it is a religious one. They evaluate other points of view critically and constructively. To many, these are just regular school or work days. Why we go to synagogue, even though I’m an atheist> A: Teachers must be alert to the distinction between teaching about religious holidays, which is permissible, and celebrating religious holi-days, which is not. In China, where people traditionally go back to their hometown for the holiday, it's the occasion for the largest annual human migration in the world. not all students have a loving relationship with their parents. Why is my tween suddenly interested in faith?>. Quote: "To evaluate (this) claim ... we must venture into the often-dreaded and certainly murky area of Establishment Clause jurisprudence..." 4 th U.S. However, we should be thoughtful about how we approach the subject, and create inclusive dialogue about how, when and why we celebrate each other. Right now, the only holidays that are officially recognized are Christian ones. For some families, the winter holiday times can bring anxiety, sadness and fear, as family dysfunction or loved ones who have passed are remembered. Additionally, we must be keenly aware that celebrating other cultures, when we are not members of that culture, can potentially be construed as tokenism or cultural appropriation. Muslim families in New York City have been requesting official recognition for Islamic holidays in public schools for years now, but they may finally see some changes under new Mayor Bill de Blasio. Public school administrators have to consider numerous factors when deciding when class ought to be in session. ... Not only does it give the days off to Muslim and Jewish students, but it brings increased awareness to the holidays celebrated by other faiths. Public schools should not close or reschedule activities solely because of conflicts between the school calendar and religious holidays. Read more: Or can the same goals be accomplished in other ways? Depending on the school, the particular holidays or celebrations chosen may represent the cultures of the student population represented in the school. Is this activity designed in any way to either promote or inhibit religion? Erick Herrmann Typically, major national holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day are discussed and celebrated, with affiliated presentations, parties, and at times art or writing projects affiliated with them. Is it educational for public schools to celebrate these holidays, or unconstitutional? Certain cultures and religious traditions, for example, do not celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, and some students may need to excuse themselves from the classroom during holiday parties and activities. Sponsored link. Religious Holidays in 8 the Public Schools 108 Tips for Planning Religious Holidays in Public Schools Before planning a religious holiday activity in a public school, ask the following questions: 1. What, then, is the origin of such celebrations? Religious Holidays and Public Schools: A Brief Legal Analysis Although many controversies have arisen over religious holidays in public schools, the case law is scant. Should public schools celebrate holidays? Can you imagine if schools didn't close for Christmas? These guidelines are intended to reflect current law in this area, though on some questions there may be no controlling Supreme Court opinion and the lower courts may be divided. And with this diversity comes questions on how to accommodate different religious holidays. Many people are against having prayer in school, why take out prayer, but leave in religious holidays? I’m not arguing that all religious dates should be holidays for staff and students. It’ll send the message that diversity is important and valued, and that everyone’s faith is on an equal plane. Seeing as how they have a right to believe and a right to observe a religious holiday, they can't be prohibited from taking time off. Religious Holidays should be celebrated in public schools. She has many opinions, some of them fit to print. Which cultures and traditions, then, are celebrated and discussed, and which aren't? 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