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Why School Board's Move to Scrub Holidays Is 'a Mistake'


The Montgomery County, Maryland school board's decision to scrub religious holidays from the school calendar has sparked public backlash.

The board voted Tuesday to get rid of them after complaints from Muslim families. They wanted the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Ahda to be recognized the same way Jewish holidays are.

***Watch Eric Baxter, with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, explain why the move is mistaken on many levels.

Superintendent Joshua Starr made the recommendation that the board consider removing the names of Jewish and Christian holidays from the 2015-2016 calendar, even though county public schools would still close on the holidays.

Many of the families say removing all religious holidays doesn't fix anything.

"The school board basically stripped any designation of Christmas, Easter, Rosh'ashana, and Yom Kippur, and as a member of Muslim community I think they made a mistake and it's shortsighted," one parent said after the school board meeting Tuesday.

In 2015, the Muslim Eid holiday and Yom Kippur fall on the same day, but board members say this doesn't solve the issue of closing on Eid in the future.

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