The Waterbury school district plans to honor two Muslim holidays, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, by not scheduling tests, field trips or major school events.
More than 300 people signed a petition in favor of supporting the Muslim holidays and on Thursday night, Feb. 5th, the Waterbury Board of Education voted to honor two Muslim holy days.
“Growing up in Waterbury myself and going to school here, I missed a trip because of the holiday,” said Syed. “I had to choose my faith and I didn’t go to the trip. That was in the third grade at Washington Elementary,” resident Fahd Syed said, as reported by WTNH.
Supporter Hafsa Khanem said “I would have to choose between skipping school and missing important lessons.” “Or miss hanging out with my family and celebrating what my religion told me to celebrate and it feels great knowing that maybe one day my brothers won’t have to do that” Fox CT reports.
The two holidays are important in the faith as it calls for families and communities to come together to break a period of fasting, according to Fox CT.
Board of Education President Charles Stango says “We were approached about this, and we thought about it, and honored it,” WTNH reports.
Syed, father of 4 children, is delighted that they will no longer be forced to choose between education or faith.
The schools will not close on the two holidays. The purpose is to honor the Muslim holy days.
“A sensitivity memo will go out to the district to teachers and staff, asking them to be sensitive to the Muslim holidays in regards to scheduling assessments and major events that happen through the district,” Superintendent Dr. Cathleen Ouellette says, as reported by WTNH.
This is a unique decision and the first of its kind for the state of Connecticut.