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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Frankly, you can't have a multicultural society that is a complete free for all. You have to have a set dominant culture, language and religion with some allowances for those that don't conform to be able to deviate (allowing kids to stay home if necessary, but not necessarily closing the schools, allowing kids to speak another language at home but not having public school classes taught in it, etc.).

Now, even with that you can argue whether a multicultural society consisting of largely polar opposite cultures (such as Islam and secular Christianity) is really functional but that is another discussion altogether.

Posted on: 2015/9/30 16:06
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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user1111 wrote:
Next year school will be closed for this holiday. Good job!
Just what one of the worst school systems in NJ needs! That'll learn 'em!

Posted on: 2015/9/28 20:21
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Monroe wrote:
They demanded, and didn't seem to understand the logistics of making such an abrupt decision a week in advance. I think they were emboldened by Wilhelm De Blasio giving the day off in NYC going forward. The kids won't be marked absent, they'll just have to make up their work-what they do when they stay home sick! Another Fulop miscue.

Correct. There were many vocal individuals which didn't understand the logistics involved. This also includes City Council members.

Many people do not understand why they are told no to their request. It is quite possible that the BOE was able to explain it out and, after a cooling off period, many people did understand. You wouldn't know it since they wouldn't be shouting about it (though, I have heard nothing about it since the meeting itself).

Posted on: 2015/9/28 20:15
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Next year school will be closed for this holiday. Good job!

Posted on: 2015/9/28 20:07
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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They demanded, and didn't seem to understand the logistics of making such an abrupt decision a week in advance. I think they were emboldened by Wilhelm De Blasio giving the day off in NYC going forward. The kids won't be marked absent, they'll just have to make up their work-what they do when they stay home sick! Another Fulop miscue.

Posted on: 2015/9/28 20:01
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Monroe wrote:
Shall we close for every religious holiday? Zoroastrian high holy days? There are 10x more Christian kids than Muslim kids, it's economy of scale. And teachers have these days off already as state holidays. Use a little common sense.

The school board took the correct action.

I also agree that we can't simply shut down the schools for every single holiday. However, I really don't understand why people have a problem with the request being made.

If nobody ever asked for anything from anyone else, nothing would ever get done. Somehow, people like the racist JCMan8 and the absurd Fox News seem to think that they shouldn't have a right to ask. That's beyond stupid.

Posted on: 2015/9/28 19:51
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Shall we close for every religious holiday? Zoroastrian high holy days? There are 10x more Christian kids than Muslim kids, it's economy of scale. And teachers have these days off already as state holidays. Use a little common sense.

Posted on: 2015/9/28 19:45
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Posted on: 2015/9/28 19:34
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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I am guessing you are all "Good" Christians and don't mind that Christmas and Good Friday schools are closed. Typical.

Posted on: 2015/9/27 0:39
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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I dont know why this is even an issue. These are public schools, right? Isnt there supposed to be some kind of separation? Put you kids in a private school if you want religious days off.

Posted on: 2015/9/27 0:24
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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i personally don't see why schools should be closed for jewish or muslim holidays unless there are that many students or teachers observing them that the schools would not be able to operate properly

Posted on: 2015/9/26 12:36
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Board members attend city hall on this issue.
https://youtu.be/-GTRLnaXPik

Posted on: 2015/9/25 21:28
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
Quote:

brewster wrote:
...
Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
One obvious question though. How do kids make up classes when they take time off for religious observance?


The same as for a sick day(s), you get the homework from the website or a friend, and if it's extended you contact the teachers about the missed content.


If it's a sizable number of students - it would make sense to avoid covering new content in class on those days. Teachers probably do that anyway - but might be worth a policy from the BOE.


As I said upthread, it's all about what's "sizable": 3% or 30%? The screwed up part is that it's apparently illegal for the District to actually know, other than crunching absentee data from previous years.


Teachers know how many kids are in class v supposed to be in class. If more than a few are missing - they should switch to a backup lesson plan. Can't be that difficult.

Posted on: 2015/9/25 14:44
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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JCMan8 wrote:
One of our resident dopes is claiming that factual information is "bigotry," not surprising.

You are a bigot. That is a fact. You demonstrate your bigotry by thinking that a minority group should not have a right to ask for an exception.

Have you ever sat in a bar, had a conversation and then mentioned your posting handle? I highly suggest doing it.

Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
A couple of the board members went to City Hall to chastise the council members on their resolution supporting Eid al-Adha as a day off. Then one of the board members said, how come City Hall is not close? Today is the feast day of Eid al-Adha.The city moved the council meeting from Wednesday to Thursday due to the Jewish holiday but is open for business for Eid al-Adha.

I thought what they said was rather spot on. Some of it was rather long winded and seemed to be lecturing the committee rather than inform and clarify to them their stance.

Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

Pebble wrote:
Everyone asks for special treatment for one reason or another. It was mentioned that the Parking Authority make accommodation for certain Jewish holidays. I am fine with the concession but it could also be argued that those of the Jewish faith are well aware of when their holiday is coming and could certainly make accommodations in advance for their automobiles. The city didn't need but it chose to as a matter of convenience to a population.

I don't see the Muslim request as any different. The big problem I have with it is that the request came with too short of a notice. As such, it needed to be quashed.


There's a huge difference between the parking rules suspension, which is welcomed by everyone and inconveniences no one, and requesting the schools be closed systemwide for your minority observance. When people get all frothy at the mouth about being denied, not a day off from school which they can take, but recognition of their holiday, I definitely smell this is more about scoring culture war points than academics.

I’m not discussing the differences. I’m merely pointing out that a minority population of Jersey City, which those of the Jewish faith are, have lobbied and obtained an accommodation. I don’t know if they received it on the first try, but they asked for it. As I noted before, it’s a bit obscene that there are people here which think that a minority group making a request for anything should never happen.

Posted on: 2015/9/25 14:29
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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dtjcview wrote:
Quote:

brewster wrote:
...
Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
One obvious question though. How do kids make up classes when they take time off for religious observance?


The same as for a sick day(s), you get the homework from the website or a friend, and if it's extended you contact the teachers about the missed content.


If it's a sizable number of students - it would make sense to avoid covering new content in class on those days. Teachers probably do that anyway - but might be worth a policy from the BOE.


As I said upthread, it's all about what's "sizable": 3% or 30%? The screwed up part is that it's apparently illegal for the District to actually know, other than crunching absentee data from previous years.

Posted on: 2015/9/25 14:15
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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brewster wrote:
...
Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
One obvious question though. How do kids make up classes when they take time off for religious observance?


The same as for a sick day(s), you get the homework from the website or a friend, and if it's extended you contact the teachers about the missed content.


If it's a sizable number of students - it would make sense to avoid covering new content in class on those days. Teachers probably do that anyway - but might be worth a policy from the BOE.

Posted on: 2015/9/25 14:00
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Pebble wrote:
Everyone asks for special treatment for one reason or another. It was mentioned that the Parking Authority make accommodation for certain Jewish holidays. I am fine with the concession but it could also be argued that those of the Jewish faith are well aware of when their holiday is coming and could certainly make accommodations in advance for their automobiles. The city didn't need but it chose to as a matter of convenience to a population.

I don't see the Muslim request as any different. The big problem I have with it is that the request came with too short of a notice. As such, it needed to be quashed.


There's a huge difference between the parking rules suspension, which is welcomed by everyone and inconveniences no one, and requesting the schools be closed systemwide for your minority observance. When people get all frothy at the mouth about being denied, not a day off from school which they can take, but recognition of their holiday, I definitely smell this is more about scoring culture war points than academics.

Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
One obvious question though. How do kids make up classes when they take time off for religious observance?


The same as for a sick day(s), you get the homework from the website or a friend, and if it's extended you contact the teachers about the missed content.

Posted on: 2015/9/25 2:59
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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sranade wrote:
I sit on the Board of Ed and wanted to clarify a few things because there has been a lot of misinformation shared with the public about this topic.

1. The District's current policy is to recognize the holy days of every religion by allowing excused absences and tardies for any student who chooses to observe the holiday.

2. As clarification- We do not take any days off for religious holidays with the exception of Good Friday, which has been on our calendar for decades. Christmas falls within Winter Break and Easter is on Sunday.

3. The challenge with this specific holiday, as voiced by many Board Members, is that we would only be giving families 6 days notice for a closed school day. This is extremely difficult for many working families. The City Council and employers are not closed on this day so arranging back up care on the scale of 30,000 students is not easy or affordable for every family.

4. It is illegal for the public schools to gather data on religious affiliation so the actual size of any given community is not known.

Many of the other points on this thread about including all religions in decisions to cancel school were also raised. It's clear we need to come up with something that will be inclusive and work for every student.

Hope this helps, but ping me if you have questions.
Sangeeta


Thanks Sangeeta. Thoughtful response. Most people on this forum don't really care about the issue - to them local politics is a sport.

We have a US federal holiday calendar - life outside schools generally revolves around that - and there's no reason why schools shouldn't simply observe the federal holidays - with the accommodations you mention. But like Pebble - I think that people shouldn't be shot for asking for accommodations.

One obvious question though. How do kids make up classes when they take time off for religious observance?


Posted on: 2015/9/25 1:54
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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A couple of the board members went to City Hall to chastise the council members on their resolution supporting Eid al-Adha as a day off. Then one of the board members said, how come City Hall is not close? Today is the feast day of Eid al-Adha.The city moved the council meeting from Wednesday to Thursday due to the Jewish holiday but is open for business for Eid al-Adha.

Posted on: 2015/9/25 1:01
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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jj comment Quote:
Hey if the JCBOE is so enamored by what NYC does let’s add all the NYC holidays to JC’s days off…

September 14 15 Monday & Tuesday Rosh Hashanah (schools closed)
September 23 Wednesday Yom Kippur (schools closed)
September 24 Thursday Eid al-Adha (schools closed
February 8 Monday Lunar New Year (schools closed)

It’s only fair...why just Eid al-Adha?

Posted on: 2015/9/24 23:35
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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One of our resident dopes is claiming that factual information is "bigotry," not surprising.

It is important to note that the Muslims are already receiving accommodations for their religious holiday, as they should.

The article states: "Board members said that Muslim students who choose to take Thursday off to observe Eid al-Adha will not be penalized."

So it is clear, Muslims can take the day off to observe their holiday without punishment. So what's the problem? Why go into these hysterics and threats, demanding that their religion be imposed on ALL, forcing everyone to stay home? And with complete disregard for the parents of other religions who have no way to take care of their kids if school is out?

Posted on: 2015/9/24 22:49
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Mao wrote:
...The public school system had a very nice if thin Protestant coloring (readings from the King James Bible, students saying the Our Father, etc. until the US Supreme court suddenly discovered in the 1960 an entirely new meaning of the First Amendment as meaning that Christianity must be driven from public life. Finally, Catholics did not make a big deal out of this.

No interpretive bias here at all...

Posted on: 2015/9/24 17:00
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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brewster wrote:
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Pebble wrote:
Why is ok for her to make some of the most absurd requests while it isn't OK for Muslims to ask for a day off from school?


Because suspending school should be about logistics rather than turf and symbolism. My kids have survived just fine taking days off when they need to observe holidays. To demand the other 99% of students take the day off so my kids don't lose a day of instruction is ridiculous. But if 50% of students AND teachers are going to be out on a day, then there is a compelling case that academics that day will be pointless.

Additionally, missing a day isn't what it used to be, often the lesson and homework are available online.

I'm not arguing with that at all. I'm in complete agreement, in fact.

What I'm arguing with is those that seem offended at the very fact that Muslims made the request to begin with. For example, see this completely bigoted statement:
Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:
First, they are quiet. Then they start demanding special treatment for themselves to accommodate their religious beliefs (where we are now). Finally, they start demanding to impose their religious beliefs on others.


Or Yvonne’s comment here demonstrating her being upset at the request ever getting made:
Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
The Muslim community got immediate change from the Hudson County Board of Freeholders. Instead of buying property near the county college, the county gave them a room for worship, something I strongly object to. Since the freeholders gave into that, why wouldn't they expect the Board of Ed to make immediate changes. It doesn't matter schools make calendars at least 6 months to a year in advance.


It’s correct that the schools choose to not close on the date. However, getting pissed off over the request is bigoted.

Everyone asks for special treatment for one reason or another. It was mentioned that the Parking Authority make accommodation for certain Jewish holidays. I am fine with the concession but it could also be argued that those of the Jewish faith are well aware of when their holiday is coming and could certainly make accommodations in advance for their automobiles. The city didn't need but it chose to as a matter of convenience to a population.

I don't see the Muslim request as any different. The big problem I have with it is that the request came with too short of a notice. As such, it needed to be quashed.

Posted on: 2015/9/24 16:58
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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A couple of points- the vestigial Christian framework to the school year consists of Christmas break now camouflaged as Winter break and Good Friday. Christmas Day is, however, a Federal and State holiday. Good Friday as a holiday is kind of like Pentecost Monday in France. It is a day off that the unions would go to war over rather than relinquish. The week following sometimes is the holiday and sometimes is not (I may be wrong though since my kids often went to Charter schools which sometimes depart from the district). The point is that these days off, while they do indicate something about our Christian origins, are not about religious observance.

It is striking that new immigrants who come from Muslim or other non Christian cultures are so strident in demanding universal observance of their religious observance. It does not bode well as observant Islam is incompatible with Western society at any stage- Christian or post Christian.

Also, historically, Catholics, even when they became the majority in NJ and the overwhelming majority in Jersey City (probably 90% in 1930) were never accommodated by the public schools. No specifically Catholic holy day has ever been put on the public school calendar. Indeed, the parochial school system was a response to the refusal of the Protestant establishment to make any accommodation. The public school system had a very nice if thin Protestant coloring (readings from the King James Bible, students saying the Our Father, etc. until the US Supreme court suddenly discovered in the 1960 an entirely new meaning of the First Amendment as meaning that Christianity must be driven from public life. Finally, Catholics did not make a big deal out of this. They were happy to be able to sacrifice and have their parochial schools (which guys like Bismarck in Germany or the Third Republic in France would not allow). Indeed, Catholics were known as being the most patriotic Americans and volunteered to fight in the World Wars far disproportionate to their numbers.

Finally, I think that the stats quoted below are woefully off. My guess is that at least 10% of the student body in Jersey City is Muslim. I base this on observing Dickenson and Ferris high schoolers with hajiib. Also on the morning of Eid-al-Adha, today!, note how many large families were walking in their best dress to the mosque. I suspect, however, that this growth will be tempered by the gentrification of Jersey City which will make it hard to sustain such growth. I believe, in fact, that Bayonne has become a sort of mecca (excuse the pun) for Muslim immigrants.


Posted on: 2015/9/24 16:42
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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School calendars are made 6 months to a year in advance. You cannot at the last moment create a holiday. Parents have already made plans for vacation. When Sandy hit school children in some districts had to go to school on Saturday. The board of education did the right thing. If 180 days are not met, state funding will not kick in.





Posted on: 2015/9/24 16:30
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Pebble wrote:
Why is ok for her to make some of the most absurd requests while it isn't OK for Muslims to ask for a day off from school?


Because suspending school should be about logistics rather than turf and symbolism. My kids have survived just fine taking days off when they need to observe holidays. To demand the other 99% of students take the day off so my kids don't lose a day of instruction is ridiculous. But if 50% of students AND teachers are going to be out on a day, then there is a compelling case that academics that day will be pointless.

Additionally, missing a day isn't what it used to be, often the lesson and homework are available online.

Posted on: 2015/9/24 15:59
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Monroe wrote:
Maybe because Muslim students are only a few percent of JC students, but Christians are more than 10X as many??

There are many that contend one cannot become a Christian until they actively choose to become one. I won't argue such things, but it certainly skews the numbers but...

Why do numbers matter? Do we suddenly have a requirement on size of percentage before presenting a request?

I factually pointed out that Yvonne routinely makes requests to the city council for items that have absolutely zero beneficiary to the vast population of the city however she continues to make these requests. Why is ok for her to make some of the most absurd requests while it isn't OK for Muslims to ask for a day off from school?

Posted on: 2015/9/24 15:20
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Maybe because Muslim students are only a few percent of JC students, but Christians are more than 10X as many??

Posted on: 2015/9/24 15:07
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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Yup, more bigotry put forward as the thread goes on; not remotely surprising.

Every group, minority or otherwise, asks for special treatment and accommodations. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.

Why is there a winter break around Christmas and New Years? Wasn't this an accommodation made to Christians at one point? Good Friday is a holiday, as noted by the BOE, wasn't this put in to accommodate the Christian community?

If I were Muslim, you're damn straight that I'd look into the option and put forward the idea to the schools. Why is it so horrible to ask?!

Yvonne runs downtown several times a month to moan and ask for special accommodations for her own personal convenience. How is that any different? At least in the case of the Muslim community, there is more than one person.

Posted on: 2015/9/24 14:30
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Re: Jersey City School Board Meeting Gets Heated During Debate Over Closing for Muslim Holiday
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CatDog wrote:
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07310 wrote:
It's going to be a while before Muslims are the majority in North America.
http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/north-america/

They will become the majority in the EU, specifically in Germany, France and the UK.
You don't honestly believe that, do you? It's just hyperbole for the crapstorm that's happening over there right now?


The link doesn't say Muslims will become the majority in the EU or any of those countries by 2050. Some EU countries will no longer have Christian majorities - which is a very different stat.

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/re ... us-projections-2010-2050/

Posted on: 2015/9/24 14:15
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