Through the eyes of an average student, winter break could arguably be the best time of the school year. Not only are they free of anything academic for two weeks, but the break brings constant speak of everything related to Christmas. Though the hype surrounding the Christmas season is completely warranted by those that celebrate it, equality is key. With Marshall religiously stressing diversity and acceptance of all cultures, it would only make sense to respect the holidays of religions from around the world.
A large portion of our student body takes part in celebrating Eid, a Muslim holiday celebrated worldwide twice each year. Eid is not acknowledged as a legitimate enough holiday to acquire any days off from school, and Muslim students subsequently take off from school to celebrate with their families. Eid is not officially recognized by the school, and consequently, parents excuse their children from school.
However, these students are subject to missed material covered in class while they were away.
It seems unfair, and a little hypocritical to preach diversity and acceptance constantly, yet continue to be ignorant about the students who do not celebrate traditional Christian holidays.
Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, falls sometime in September or October every year. Many Jewish students have to take off from school on that day as a sign of respect for their religion. If the administration are willing to accommodate the dates of Thanksgiving break every year, it should not be difficult to show some respect for a holiday that is very sacred and celebrated widely by Jewish people.
It’s unlikely that the schools and the county are deliberately avoiding recognizing these holidays. According to a recent ABC News poll, 83% of Americans identify as Christians. With such a vast majority of the population celebrating Christmas and Easter, it’s understandable to see why other religious holidays are overshadowed.
However, Americans from across the country identity with over 50 different religions, according to ABC News. Considering that, Marshall’s diverse and unique student body bears an array of different religions that simply are not recognized in an equal manner to Christianity even though they should be. It doesn’t take much to raise awareness in the community for the students who celebrate these holidays and honor their customs and culture in the same way that is done every year for Christian holidays.