Upsetting news: the 2015-2016 official school calendar of Montgomery County, Maryland won’t mention National Pasta Day (17 October).
Actually, I don’t give a damn about that, but Pastafarians might. In theory, and on principle, I’d have to side with their silliness, should it come to pass. If one religion gets its holidays listed, then, by rights, all others should receive the same state-recognized honor as soon as believers ask. It’s never a good idea for public schools to take the Constitution’s Establishment Clause lightly.
In recent months, Maryland Muslims have advocated putting one of Islam’s holidays, Eid al-Adha, on said calendar. More power to them, I say. Their request is at least as reasonable as the so-far fictional one in the Pastafarianism example above. But when the Montgomery Board of Education, spurred by the Muslim activists, re-evaluated the practice of including religious references on school calendars, a majority of the board’s members decided to treat everyone the same: by declining to print any religious holidays on its school schedule from now on.
School officials said the time off in December would become “winter break,” while the time off around the Easter holiday would be called “spring break.” Other days, such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, would be simply listed as a day when there is “no school for students and teachers.” … In practical terms, Montgomery schools will still be closed for the Christian and Jewish holidays, as in previous years, and students will still get the same days off, as planned.