Monroe-Woodbury student asks school district to recognize Muslim holidays
A Monroe-Woodbury High School student is pushing for Muslim holidays to be recognized on his school district's calendar.
Zayed Kadir presented a petition to the district in June with more than 200 signatures from members of the Monroe-Woodbury Islamic Center.
The 15-year-old sophomore wants district schools to close on two main holidays, Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, for Muslim students to observe.
“All it takes is one day to fall behind, and if a student needs to take a day off, they are missing that lesson because they aren’t in class,” Kadir says.
Kadir feels the current calendar unfairly excludes Muslim students and says he and others are often stressed with needing to catch up on schoolwork after missing classes for their holiday observances.
“You see everyone else getting full-fledged time to properly embrace their religious observances, but as a Muslim in this area, I do not see that,” says Kadir. “My holidays are something that happens without anyone noticing."
New York City schools recognize Muslim holidays as does the Newburgh Enlarged City School district.
Monroe-Woodbury School Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez addressed Kadir's request at a board meeting in August.
“It’s hard to create a calendar. I have to make sure I have those days ensconced in writing, but he understood, and I said we would do a follow up,” Rodriguez said.
Kadir says he has plans to meet with Rodriguez sometime this winter when the school calendar is created.