Muslim holiday moves closer to becoming addition on WCPSS calendar

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Mariya Shaikh is pushing for a change to the Wake County School District's calendar. She wants a Muslim holiday added so her children and thousands of others can celebrate at home with family.

She said many kids would rather go to school than miss instructional time.

"Sometimes it takes them a couple of days to make up for what they miss on that one particular day so they would rather go," she said. " Even though it's an excused absence if it's a religious observance, they still miss instructional time."

Shaikh started a petition in October and has since collected close to 5,000 signatures supporting the calendar change.

The Wake County School Board is considering the measure, but it wouldn't happen this school year or next.

At the earliest, kids could see another day off for the 2020-2021 school year.

Shaikh said Wake County's thriving Muslim population deserves to be recognized and that Eid-El -Fitr is a holy day, much like Christmas or Easter is to Christians.

"Over years we have grown. We have shown our presence," she said.

The Wake County School District does not collect data on religious affiliation but said a significant number of students are Muslim.

Until a decision is made, the district said staff will try to accommodate as many holiday requests as the calendar allows.
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