The current school year began on Sept. 9 and will end on June 28 — that’s 210 days of learning by my count. Subtract 34 days for school holidays, and that leaves 176 days in which our students have to learn their ABCs.
The breakdown includes 13 Jewish holidays, one Muslim holiday, one Asian holiday, and 10 Christian holidays — the rest are Federal and non-denominational days off.
Now get this — a state senator from Queens, Tony Avella, has introduced a bill that would classify St. Patrick’s Day as a school holiday in large school districts with a significant Irish population.
Whaaaat? (Heavy emphasis on “what”)
Firstly and most importantly — what’s the criteria here? Would he extend the holiday only to districts whose student populations are 100-percent Irish? 50 percent? 25 percent? What about children that have close family friends that are Irish?
Secondly, wouldn’t that open the Board of Eduction to some very large law suits? After all, schools close for Lunar New Year in districts that don’t have a large Asian population. The same goes for Eid al-Adha in districts that don’t have large Muslim populations.
I’m not even counting the Christian and Jewish students, because practically every community in Brooklyn has a significant number of both.
And Avella wants a day off for a Catholic saint even though the Department of Education has done all that it can do to wipe out any speck of religiousness in the schools. The campaign to wipe out all ethnicity has been so successful that Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are only listed as “Winter Recess Break.” Children no longer have Christmas or Hanukkah week. Easter and Passover are usually clumped together as a combined “Spring Recess Break.” Thanksgiving is no longer a day to celebrate our forefathers but is now “Indigenous American Day.” Whaaat? (Again, heavy emphasis on “what”). And all the rest are up for grabs.
Schools are closed for Columbus Day, does that mean those schools have a high percentage of Italians or a higher percentage of Spanish people? (After all, good old Cris sailed for Queen Isabella of Spain). I’m confused.
Not for Nuthin™, but if the Department of Education is so hell-bent on homogenizing our school system and turning it into one big, soggy, glutenous mess of white bread, then why on god’s little green acre are there so many religious holidays celebrated? Let’s take out all the religious holidays and only leave in the Federal dates. This way the children will have more than 176 days of getting an education.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.
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