Giving Muslim students a chance to celebrate their holidays, the Baltimore County Board of Education has approved unanimously to close public schools for students on `Eid holidays when they land on a school day.
“This historic victory is the culmination of a decades-long battle by local leaders to seek equal recognition for the county’s thousands of Muslim children,” said Zainab Chaudry, the Director of Maryland Outreach for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a statement.
“It sends a message to Muslim students and parents that schools are paying attention to their needs, and that they are valued, seen and heard.”
CAIR acknowledged Student Member of the Board Omer Reshid, and leaders Dr. Basher Firaoun and Muhammed Jamil for tirelessly championing this issue.
The long-awaited move comes after 30+ years of advocacy and efforts to seek `Eid equality after the election of the first Muslim Student Member of the Board to serve in that capacity.
`Eid equality efforts are also underway in Montgomery County, Maryland where the school board agreed in 2015 to close schools for students on `Eid but is reportedly considering calendar proposals for the school year 2020-21 which now leave school open on `Eid.
Last week, CAIR called on the College Board to not schedule AP exams on `Eid in 2021 to help local school boards be equitable to all of their student populations.
The Islamic Hijri Calendar is a lunar one, thus the observance of `Eid Al-Fitr revolves throughout the seasons.
A growing number of American school districts have begun to recognize the two Muslim holidays.
In April 2019, the Detroit school district announced it would be recognizing the Muslim holiday of `Eid Al-Fitr during its adoption of the 2019-20 school year calendar.