The following petition was conceptualized and authored by The Mighty Minorities for Religious Equity, a group of students in Fairfax County Public Schools.
“Through One Fairfax, Fairfax County will work on discovering gaps and potential opportunities to support our diverse population of residents and students of every race, gender, ability, income, and background. We will be looking through the lens of equity when programs, services, and decisions are formed on any level throughout the county.”
-Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Clearly, FCPS is an incredibly diverse community, with regards to not only race and cultures, but religions as well. In this year alone, FCPS has made amazing strides towards racial and gender equity, but it’s time we add religious equity to the mix. If we live in such a religiously diverse community, shouldn’t our school calendar reflect that? Two years ago, FCPS created a Religious Diversity Task Force which has been working with the community, the school board, FCPS teachers, and other stakeholders, to create calendar models that recognize Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid and Diwali. Several months ago, the interfaith coalition presented its two models, both recognizing all 4 holidays, to the school board. However, a few weeks ago, with no warning, the school board added a third calendar option for consideration, which recognizes none of the four holidays.
While FCPS argues about whether to recognize these religious holidays, Arlington County, Loudoun County and Prince William County have recently adopted their recognition in their calendars -- something Montgomery County has already been doing for years. Recognizing these holidays is not a novel idea. Other counties have done it, and it is time FCPS does, too.
It seems that the School Board voted to push this aside, assuming that the public wouldn’t notice and the school board could move on with their lives. But we can’t be silent about this. We deserve religious equity, and we need your help to fight for it.
Show your support by signing our petition:
There are two options we demand from the School Board. Either the School Board only considers calendar options A & B (which give all 4 holidays off), or we request the School Board only consider school calendars that define the 4 holidays as non-instructional days. Both of these options will celebrate the abundance of student and staff diversity this county has.
Whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, of another faith, or no faith at all, help us show the School Board that the students of FCPS stand united and support religious equality for all.