The Montgomery County Board of Education on Tuesday voted to strip the names of Christian and Jewish holidays from its school calendar after an outcry from the parents of Muslim children who complained the school system was not honoring its holidays.
The move went beyond the recommendations of schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr, who had suggested the board adopt a plan that removed references to only Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, days on which classes have been cancelled in the county since the 1970s.
Muslim parents, partnering with the Maryland chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, petitioned the school system, asking that classes also be cancelled on the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Mr. Starr responded that schools are not closed on the Jewish holidays to honor the faith but rather because of the high number of students that did not attend classes on those days. He said county officials have not seen a similarly high rate of absenteeism on the Muslim holidays.