Seeing as how they have a right to believe and a right to observe a religious holiday, they can't be prohibited from taking time off. What, then, is the origin of such celebrations? RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS RECOGNIZED BY U.S. However, the U.S. public school calendar has historically been designed around Christmas / New Years. Is there a particular threshold for a number of students or community members when choosing which traditions or holidays to celebrate? There are Atheists who used to be religious (I know a few) and they used to celebrate holidays according to their tradition, beliefs, or how their religion demands that it be celebrated (such as Catholics or Jews and how they celebrate in December), now they don't anymore but instead just recognize those as days where "Gifts for me!! Free Online Library: Should public schools celebrate religious holidays? Certain cultures and religious traditions, for example, do not celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, and some students may need to excuse themselves from the classroom during holiday parties and activities. Certain cultures and religious traditions, for example, do not celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, and some students may need to excuse themselves from the classroom during holiday parties and activities. Not only does it give the days off to Muslim and Jewish students, but it brings increased awareness to the holidays celebrated by other faiths. While these celebrations and traditions are a part of the fabric of American society, they have the potential to exclude students for a variety of reasons. Could this also be the case with holidays being celebrated in schools? Another consideration is the amount of time being spent on holiday traditions and celebrations. Specific holidays and traditions such as Dia de los Muertos or Kwanza are sometimes celebrated or discussed in schools as well. Sponsored link. It’s even a battle sometimes in the workforce, with many corporations insisting that certain religious holidays be marked down as a vacation day. Are the people planning a culture night, for example, representatives from the cultures being celebrated? As public schools in the United States continue to increase in ... alienate children who do not engage in such celebrations and offend parents whose Every December, public school students, parents, teachers and administrators face the difficult task of acknowledging the various religious and secular holiday traditions celebrated during that time of year. 1) Should public schools end religious holidays because honoring Christian holidays is unfair to other religions? Read more: Your Industry Needs YOUR Expert Voice Editor’s note: The following section on religious holidays contains consensus guidelines drafted and endorsed by a broad range of 17 religious and educational groups. Students actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. Perhaps one of the first considerations should be which holidays and traditions are celebrated in school — and why. Should public schools celebrate holidays? Erick Herrmann is an educational consultant specialized in teaching English learners, and he runs Academic Language Learning Institute, Inc.. Erick has worked with thousands of teachers across the nation to help them improve their instructional practice and increase academic achievement for all students. Others include nonacademic activities such as food or movies. And the multi-faith calendar educators are provided with doesn’t stop teachers from going ahead and scheduling tests on religious holidays. In terms of celebrations and holiday traditions, what purpose are they serving? not all students have a loving relationship with their parents. Schempp (1963), in which they “ruled that public schools may not sponsor religious practices but may not teach about religion.” Religious holidays should thus be considered as subparts of the large American culture, which has evolved to include an unimaginable number of different religions; this especially pertains to the ever-diverse city of New York. Many, if not most, educators hold these celebrations as a welcomed break from academics, and as a way to introduce students from other countries and cultures to the cherished traditions and celebrations of the United States, and introduce students from the U.S. to other cultures, their traditions and celebrations. But at a local level, schools are often oblivious to major holidays. Just 17% think there should be no religious holiday celebrations in … What does God mean? Academic Language Learning Institute, Inc. Every educator wants classroom and school celebrations to be just that — celebratory. At times, these celebrations and parties are conducted just before holiday breaks, as students are excited and potentially more focused on vacation than doing academic work. The CCSS state: "Students appreciate that the 21st-century classroom and workplace are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together. : Answering the tough questions> There is nothing wrong with wanting to highlight them in schools. Which cultures and traditions, then, are celebrated and discussed, and which aren't? These questions are critical to take into account. Q: How should religious holidays be treated in the classroom? Perhaps one of the first considerations should be which holidays and traditions are celebrated in school — and why. GOVERNMENTS . Can you imagine if schools didn't close for Christmas? St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Are they meant to bring awareness of the history of the holiday, to bring fun and excitement to the classroom, or to bring unity and assimilation to U.S. culture? For some families, the winter holiday times can bring anxiety, sadness and fear, as family dysfunction or loved ones who have passed are remembered. : Answering the tough questions>, Why is my tween suddenly interested in faith?>. Typically, major national holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day are discussed and celebrated, with affiliated presentations, parties, and at times art or writing projects affiliated with them. MPR News Staff January 28, 2016, 9:18 AM Jan 28, 2016. Ultimately, we need to carefully consider the consequences of any actions taken in schools. Teachers and schools regularly engage in activities during and after school to celebrate the various cultures that are represented in the school, as well as national holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman. In fact, the Common Core State Standards emphasize the ability to understand other's perspectives and cultures as a key college and career readiness skill for the 21st century. Religious education should not be a compulsory subject in public schools because this requirement can violate the rights of both students and policies. Building the toolkit for paraprofessional success, Want to use videos to boost your sales? However, I do think schools have a responsibility to take a closer look at the demographics of their student body and schedule any tests or class events around those significant dates. This article shows teachers how to bring rich cultural content into their teaching in a way that expands students' knowledge, interest, and respect for the group being featured. As in, technically, no Christmas or Easter parties, that sort of thing. Schools should recognize non-Christian religious holidays – … They have. Every student wants to have fun in school, and cultural events, holidays and celebrations are one way we can celebrate the diversity in our schools and in our world. However, we should consider which holidays and celebrations are a part of the school and why, the amount of time dedicated to these celebrations and how we might make them relevant to each of our students, increasing inclusivity and cultural responsiveness in schools and ultimately in our society. Can you imagine the uproar if people had to use a vacation day for Christmas? Depending on how the cultural tradition or holiday is being celebrated, students may be having fun and practicing academic skills, through writing, reading or discussing the topic, for example. Typically, major national holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day are discussed and celebrated, with affiliated presentations, parties, and at times art or writing projects affiliated with them. It’s never easy negotiating the Jewish holidays, and I often find myself disappointed that schools (and workplaces) often need constant reminders about Rosh Hashanah. Depending on the school, the particular holidays or celebrations chosen may represent the cultures of the student population represented in the school. In every culture around the world, humans engage in cultural and holiday traditions and celebrations. Why is my tween suddenly interested in faith?>. On the other hand, if you have struggling students in your classroom, this could also have the effect of taking away key learning opportunities. That figure includes 48% who feel all religious holidays should be celebrated in public schools. The article offers suggestions that teachers can use throughout the school year, as well as when observing cultural and Breaking down barriers to make career and technical pathways accessible for everyone, How employers are helping employees reduce student loan debt, Report: Only 6% of US companies offer comprehensive child care benefits, For the new school year, relationships first, academic content later, Millions of high school students set for success: Celebrating Career and Technical Education Month, To fight crime, engage kids in quality after-school programs, How often and why college students are dropping out. My kids a writer, blogger and mom to three kids Industry Needs your Expert Voice & we got... 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