By: Ella Sutherland
If you go to a public school have you ever noticed how all of your “holiday” breaks are always revolving around Christian holidays? The 2 longest breaks of the school year are winter break and spring break. Those mostly always include the two major Christian holidays which are Christmas and Easter.
Saint Paul Public Schools have around the same time periods for breaks as many of the Christian private schools. So, even though Saint Paul Public Schools are all inclusive of religions and cultures, there is still almost a bias for when our breaks are scheduled.
Because school decided to schedule these breaks to be around Christian holidays, students that are not Christian have to miss school or go to school and postpone their special holiday. For example, many Jewish students have had to miss many days of school this fall because of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, which are very important Jewish holidays that should be recognized. And even though they get excused absences for missing school the students are still missing classes and important information and sometimes even tests.
If schools arranged for breaks to revolve around many holidays and break it up, instead of having 2 long breaks, people might feel more included. Also, in elementary schools, at least mine for example, we would do arts and crafts like a week before winter break and lots of the crafts would have Christmas trees and Santa. We only ever really talked about Christmas around that time and never included any other religious holidays. This wasn’t just around the winter break, it was around most Christian holidays.
Public schools need to start respecting holidays that are important for other religions and not just Christianity. That includes cultures such as the Hindu holiday of Diwali, and the Islamic holiday of Eid. Schools should just start thinking about this.
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