For reasons I still can’t explain after a night of fast dancing and a fine wedding meal (there is nothing like fast dancing with a fedora) I ended up wide awake at 4 a.m. to be greeted by an e-mail from Barbara Espinosa from the American Freedom blog and host of blog talk radio’s hair on fire Thursday nights or anytime via this link asking the above question concerning this Globe story:
In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.
The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.
Well I’m sure this isn’t the same as the situation with Wellesley schools segregating their students by sex and praying at a Mosque for a field trip (Still unsure when they will be scheduling their trip to St. Anthony di Padua for mass but I digress). They of course have a significant Muslim population and a ton of absences that day, don’t they?
Cambridge School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said the district does not collect information about the religion of its students. But Young said that there is a significant Muslim population in the city, and that, at least anecdotally, the Muslim population in the schools appears to be growing.
anecdotally? Cambridge is making its decisions in their schools based on anecdotal evidence? There’s gotta be more to it than that. There is:
Marla Erlien, chairwoman of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission, said the discussion about closing Cambridge schools for an Islamic holiday began several years ago when the commission conducted a survey at Rindge and Latin asking students about discrimination, and at a follow-up forum students raised concerns about how Muslims were a “discarded group’’ whose holidays weren’t recognized in the schools.
So Cambridge has a “human rights commission” and it was that commission that has been pushing for this change.
What do I say to this? Several things to several different people:To Cambridge, hey it’s your city, the people there elect their school committee and their city council, if the taxpayers of Cambridge want to vote in these guys and they to close their schools because the “human rights commission” wants to accommodate followers of the Great Pumpkin it’s on them.
To Barbara’s e-mail? I answered it’s Cambridge if they didn’t do something like this I’d be shocked.
To Democrats: Congratulations, here is another gift for you just prior to election day. I’m sure that Cambridge the symbol of Massachusetts liberalism is happy to give you this gift in the year you need it the most.
and to followers of exotic religions everywhere, if your holy day is not a day off in Cambridge Mass, it’s only because you are agitating loud enough (like maybe one angry letter).