Equal Stature for Religious Holidays in the Schools

December 5, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 5, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "growing up in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s, Rona Gugliemino had the day off from school on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana. Now she is raising her family in Berlin [MA], where the regional school district closes on Good Friday but not on the two holiest days in the Jewish faith. Along with another mother in the district, she is asking school officials to reconsider their policy, citing many other towns in the area that have moved in that direction. The School Committee has agreed to discuss the issue at its meeting next month. Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana equal Christmas and Easter in the importance of attending religious services and the number of people who do so, said Rabbi Donald Splansky of Temple Beth Am in Framingham. Committee member Roger Deal raised another question: If the schools close on the Christian and Jewish days, what about holidays in other religions, such as Buddhism? 'There are many, many religions,' he said when officials discussed the subject at a meeting last month."