FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla .– The Broward County School Board may give students and staff a day off to mark a Muslim holiday during the 2022/23 school year.
The board is considering four different options for its 2022-2023 Broward County public school schedule. Two of the options include April 21, 2023, as a day off. This day is Eid ul-Fitr, a holiday that marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.
At Tuesday’s school board workshop where the schedule was discussed, several parents and members of the Muslim community spoke out in favor of the proposal.
One parent said he would like not to have to decide whether his children go to school or join the rest of the family in celebrating the holidays. He added that the schedule change recognizes their culture as part of Broward County culture and makes them feel that the community includes them.
A school district employee who runs the Muslim Student Association at several high schools noted that this is something the Muslim community has been advocating for several years, and she hopes the board will embrace diversity and promote diversity. equity.
School district staff said the calendar did not identify religious holidays, but rather days off aligned with federal and religious holidays.
Currently, the school district is conducting a survey of parents, staff and community members to ask for feedback on timing options. Some board members said they would like to hear more feedback from teachers on the calendar option they support.
District staff will present a proposed schedule to school board members for a vote in December.
The South Florida Muslim Federation released the following statement on WPTV:
“The South Florida Muslim community is grateful that the Broward County School Board is moving towards a more equitable schedule and taking diversity and inclusion seriously. We commend the Council for its leadership and encourage it to complete this process and make the right decision to have April 21, 2023 as a school vacation. Muslims are part of the fabric of South Florida, particularly in Broward County. Broward’s Muslim students, who number around 25,000, should no longer have to choose between enjoying their vacation or going to school. “
A spokesperson for the Palm Beach County School District said there had been no discussions of a similar schedule change at this time.