Editorial: Students Should be Allowed to Observe Religion

June 15, 2005

Source: The Indianapolis Star


On June 15, 2005 The Indianapolis Star reported, "Our position is: Students should be excused for legitimate religious observances provided schoolwork is made up. School officials in Lake County are being sued for refusing to give an excused absence to a student attending a weeklong religious event called Festival of the Holy Days, observed by the United Church of God, a Christian denomination that doesn't celebrate Christmas or Easter. In a pluralistic society, school officials certainly have difficulty accommodating the needs of every child and his or her parents... The situation varies from community to community. There isn't any one-size-fits-all solution. While school officials need to ensure students are in school a minimum number of days, they should be flexible enough to work with families to allow for legitimate religious observances. That may simply mean makeup work and exams, tape recording or videotaping lessons or extra reading assignments. With a little extra effort, it should be possible to balance the religious needs of all families with the academic responsibilities of schools."