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Holidays – A Modest Proposal

New York Mayor Bill de Blazio has announced that in 2015, public school students in New York will be given a day off for two Muslim holy days, Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr.  One occurs during the school year, and one impacts those who go to summer school.  This is in addition to the myriad other days off the typical school child will get, including Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break, Martin Luther King Birthday, and Memorial Day.  Already, another ethnic and religious group, South Asians, is asking that their holiday of Diwali be included, as well as those of Chinese extraction, who are pushing to get the Lunar New Year off.

Since we’re adding for religious holidays here, here are a few I want added or re-added:

Mardi Gras
Ash Wednesday
Good Friday
St. Patrick’s Day (It’s supposed to be a religious holiday, not another excuse to act like a beer fueled asshat)
Rosh Hashannah
Yom Kippur
Equinox (Vernal and Autumnal)
Samhain /  Halloween
All Saint’s Day (That’ll cover the myriad saints’ feast days that occur throughout the year)
Corpus Christi
Solstice (Winter and Summer)

That’s 14 instructional days that ought to be scratched so that students can That covers the big ones, as far as I know, for Christians, Jews, and Wiccans.  Of course, we also need to consult the Buddhists, Bahai, and Sikhs.  Cthulhu knows how many we’ll add once we start looking at Orthodox Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Native American religions.

Since we’ll probably be taking out a month of the school year for religious holidays, we’re going to have to get the Department of Education to mandate that summer vacation be eliminated to make up for it.  That will give us a few extra days to work with, so I’ll throw in some patriotic days off to go with it:

Washington and Lincoln Birthdays
Flag Day
Anniversary of the writing of The Star Spangled Banner
Constitution Day
Gettysburg Days (Let’s stretch Independence Day out a bit)
Pearl Harbor Day
September 11
Armed Forces Day
Service Birthdays (Marine, Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard)

Kentucky Oaks (Louisville and other parts of Kentucky only.  Other parts of the country can insert their own “They’re not going to show up anyway, so we’ll just declare a school holiday” day off)
There, now isn’t that a nice, inclusive list of days the little kiddies can miss school on?  Makes my heart proud to say that we can interrupt education so often and still make sure that little Billy can read at grade level and little Susie can do her maths.

Or, and tell me if this sounds too crazy to be feasible, we could let parents send in a note with little Akhmed and Fatima saying that they’re practicing Muslims and will be taking the Eid off.  That way, families can celebrate their cultural and religious holidays without giving everyone else a day off to sit in their parent’s apartment and watch Sponge Bob.  Now, as crazy as that sounds, it would let people do their thing and let the rest of us educate our children.

Nah, never work. That would assume that parents know what days are important to their family, and the state wouldn’t be mandating observance of someone else’s religious holidays.  Can’t have that, can we?

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  1. Let’s go with the all the Saint’s Days in the Roman Catholic calendar, that oughta cover everything.

  2. AndyN

     /  March 6, 2015

    You left out opening day of deer season, which is a “they’re not going to show up anyway so we might as well make it a school holiday” day in a lot of flyover country if ever there was one.

    And there’s no need to extent the school year. Schools just need to insist that teachers spend their time teaching the subjects they’ve been hired to teach. The loss of classroom time to new holidays will be more than offset by instructional time no longer spent on indoctrination.

    • Good point. I’d also throw in the day after Super Bowl.

      As for more efficient use of instructional time, well, that’s just crazy talk.

  3. jon spencer

     /  March 7, 2015

    Can’t forget the Pastafarians as they celebrate every Friday as a holy day.

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