Saturday, May 29, 2004

New holidays in Atlantic City

Atlantic City's 560 Muslim public-school students will have two of their sacred days affirmed as the entire school district takes off Nov. 15 for the end of Ramadan and Jan. 21 for Eid al-Adha. Even before the addition of the holidays, Muslim students, like students of other religions, could take excused absences on holy days.

This reduces the number of emergency school closures from six to four. Perhaps Atlantic City's snow days will fall on Nov. 15 and Jan. 21.

Certainly, then, the district takes off Western Good Friday, for its Catholic students, who are many more than its Muslim students, right? How about Eastern Orthodox? Does the school district already take off Eastern Holy Friday? And considering Atlantic City's substantial Jewish community, then naturally Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana are already a district-wide holidays.



Oddly enough, there are no current or even complete school calendars on the web, nor even a calendar showing city days off. The Egg Harbor School District's calendar is online (Egg Harbor is 15 miles from Atlantic City). The only religious holiday is Yom Kippur; the two weeks at the end of December are called "Winter Break."

Allahu akbar. The star and crescent rises over New Jersey.

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