MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - Montgomery County Public Schools will not hold classes for students on a major Muslim holiday next year.
For years, Muslim families have been demanding that the school board recognize their holy day of Eid al-Adha. Now, school leaders have agreed to move one of five professional work days to September 12, 2016, to coincide with the holiday.
One father who has been fighting for this change for years says they did not want a professional work day, they wanted the actual holiday.
“It’s not 100% of what we wanted, it's about 80%. We'll take that and we’re pleased to have that. We understand that in any kind of political back and forth there’s going to be some compromises,” said parent Saqib Ali.
Meanwhile, the school board president says she already has concerns that other religious groups will demand holidays of their own.
"I don't know whether this has opened the door to Lunar New Year and Diwali and others. Someone emailed me and noted that this is Veterans Day today, and we are not closed. We had school for all students. Why not Veterans Day?” said Pat O'Neill, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education.
By law, Maryland requires 180 days of instruction. If more groups demand their own holidays, the school board could be facing a flood of requests and only a few days to work with to accommodate everyone.