Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online

10/11/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

School system acknowledges growing number of Muslim students

Acknowledging that American society is becoming increasingly diverse, public schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts will start to make it easier for Muslim students to honor their highest holy days. Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Schools will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.

State and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodation of the religious needs of students and in observance of holy days.

State and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodation of the religious needs of students and in observance of holy days.


By Catholic Online

Catholic Online (

10/11/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Holy Days, Muslim, holidays, school system

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  The decision, announced last month, comes at a time when acknowledging the Muslim faith in the United States has reached a broiling point. Discussion and controversy has swelled over a Mosque proposal to be built two blocks from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York along with  Florida preacher Terry Jones's threat to burn a Korans. The discussion has also touched local schools, as Wellesley school officials drew criticism recently for a video that showed sixth-grade students kneeling during a prayer service at a Boston mosque during a field trip in May.

Cambridge School Committee member Marc McGovern, who favors the measure, said he thinks people need to take a step back from what he called hysteria and the stereotypes of all Muslims as terrorists.

"At a time when I think the Muslim population is being characterized with a broad brush in a negative way, I think it's important for us to say we're not going to do that here," McGovern says.

McGovern points out that Cambridge schools already close for some Christian and Jewish holidays, and McGovern said he believes Muslims should be treated equally.

"The issue that sort of came up was should we celebrate any religious holidays, but there was not the will to take away Good Friday or one of the Jewish holidays," he said. "So I said, if that is the case, I think we have an obligation to celebrate one of the Muslim holidays, as well."

State and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodation of the religious needs of students and in observance of holy days, but the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education leaves the decision about how to do that up to individual school districts because they "know best about the needs and unique demographic makeup of their student population and community," a spokesman for the department says.

If a school district has a large number of students who observe Good Friday and would not attend school that day, the districts are allowed to close because of the expected low attendance. But the state does require districts to schedule at least 180 days of school.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

HURRICANE FALLOUT: At least four people killed in East Coast flooding Watch

Image of All-time rainfall records in both South Carolina and the southern Appalachians are being sorely tested with the new rainfall.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hurricane Joaquin made quick work of the Carolinas this weekend; flooding has been reported there, and heavy rainfall was reported from the nation's southeast to New England. At least four people were killed because of flooding. The Weather Bureau says that the ... continue reading

Ten Commandments to be removed from capitol grounds Watch

Image of


The Capitol Preservation Commission in Oklahoma, who is responsible for managing the placement of artwork on public property, has voted to remove a Ten Commandments monument from its capitol grounds. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reuters reported the Preservation ... continue reading

Rumored co-recipients of next Nobel Peace Prize criticized: one responsible for hundreds of American soldiers' deaths in Iraq Watch

Image of Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are rumored to be co-recipients of 2016's Nobel Peace Prize (Laurent Gillieron/EPA).


Secretary of State John Kerry is rumored to be receiving a Nobel Peace Prize after finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal due to his close relationship with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kerry's efforts to seal the nuclear ... continue reading

SHOOTERS LAST WORDS TO VICTIM: You're going to see God in one second Watch

Image of Survivors embrace and pray in the aftermath of the shooting which left 9 people and the shooter dead.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation continues to mourn the mass shooting of nine students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Although the shooter's motive remains a mystery, religion may have been a factor in the killings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Officials have ... continue reading

Heroic teacher warned classrooms to evacuate during the Oregon college shooting Watch

Image of Oregon shooting aftermath


A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg left 10 people dead with one teacher shot in the head by a gunman described only to be in his 20's. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Terrifying and traumatic stories were shared by the survivors of the recent open ... continue reading

Christian Targets: College shooting leaves at least 10 dead Watch

Image of Victims were rushed to a nearby hospital (Roseburg News).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday, which left at least ten people dead. Reports have come forward that the shooter was targeting Christian students. ROSEBURG, OREGON (Catholic ... continue reading

Did Pope Francis succeed in stopping an execution? Man skirts the death penalty for the fourth time in a row Watch

Image of Richard Glossip escapes the death penalty yet again.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Richard Glossip escaped the death penalty at the last minute once again, this time due to questions about lethal injection protocols. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hours before Glossip's sentence NBC News announced a letter sent from Pope Francis asking Glossip's ... continue reading

Husband killer executed after many failed appeals, including one from Pope Francis Watch

Image of Kelly Gissendaner's legal team filed three appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and all were denied.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not even an appeal from a representative of Pope Francis could stop her execution. After a five-hour delay, convicted husband killer Kelly Gissendaner was executed in Georgia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her lawyers filed appeals to both the state and ... continue reading

Face-to-face with evil: How one undercover reporter felt talking to late-term abortionist Shelley Sella Watch

Image of Planned Parenthood.


The founder of the Center for Medical Progress felt he came face-to-face with "evil" while giving an undercover interview with late-term abortionist Shelley Sella. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - David Daleiden of the Medical Progress Center revealed how he felt ... continue reading

Did Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis have a private meeting with Pope Francis? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, now infamous for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and going to jail for her beliefs, claims to have met Pope Francis in a private meeting during his visit to the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Davis' ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 4th, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More