Should public schools close for religious holidays?

Mudassir Ali
Mar 12, 2020 03:10 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Mar 12, 2020 03:10 PM

No. I think that kids should go to school year around. I’d prefer a system of 3 weeks of education then one week off at the end of each month (12 weeks off a year) + an additional week off the first week of January and July (total of 14 weeks off a year)†. That would require a massive re-working of how we conduct business in the US, so I hold out no hope of that happening.

Otherwise I still say, “No”, with the exception –of course– being Christmas (but not really, because I’d call it “Winter Break”). Why that one? Two reasons:
It’s largely a secular holiday. I’m an atheist and I know atheists of all stripes who celebrate it. I know people who aren’t Christians who celebrate the “tree with ornaments” holiday towards the end of December in the same way that so many go out and get drunk on St. Pat’s day or give chocolates on Valentines day or send their snotty-nosed children to beg for candy on Halloween. It ain’t religious no more.
Pragmatically we make policy that does the most good for the most people while doing as little harm to the fewest people. I’ve never heard a convincing argument against being off the last week of December to do whatever you want. If we didn’t give kids off for Christmas, they’d just call off for it anyway and when enough of the population does a thing, we make policy not to make them feel special, but to keep the whole system from being interrupted.
NOW, I do feel that it would be important to give kids a few “floating holidays” or whatever to ensure that they got off for the right days for their needs. Otherwise, I see no reason to have religious holidays recognized by schools.
†Or alternately, 6 weeks of school then two weeks off at the end of every other month + an additional week added to the beginning of January and July so that there were three wholes weeks off in a row.

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