School officials in Montgomery County, Maryland are asking the College Board to not schedule Advanced Placement exams on Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday, next year.
The College Board is a nonprofit that owns the Advanced Placement testing as well as the SAT college entrance exam.
The Washington Post reported that school officials are worried about the effect it will have on Muslim students’ grades and ability to pass the test. Schools in Montgomery County have been observing Eid al-Fitr for years. Schools in two other counties are also planning a day off for students on the holiday next year.
But under a new proposal by Montgomery school officials, there would be school on several Muslim holidays next year, including Eid al-Fitr, which millions of Muslims observe each year, the Post reported.
“It’s very disappointing because we have been lobbying for so many years,” Samira Hussein, a longtime activist on the issue, told the Post.
“What are you teaching . . . about being inclusive?” Hass Bashir, a father of three from Potomac, said to the Post. “While my children recognize all other holidays, you are telling them, ‘Your faith has no value. You are irrelevant.’”
Parents in the county are worried that there is not enough time now to go to the College Board and ask for the day of Eid al-Fitr off for students. However, the county school board is planning to discuss the issue again in December, the Post reported.
“It’s a very tight window to reach out to the College Board at the national level and make that change,” Adileh Sharieff, a county parent and a trustee at the Islamic Center of Maryland, told the Post.
Currently in Maryland, state law requires school closures on Christian holidays but Jewish and Muslim holidays are up to local officials.