Holidays stay unrepresented in Central York schedules

Athena Swords, Editor

Each year, the biggest and most anticipated breaks of the school year revolve around two of the largest Christian holidays: Christmas and Easter.

What about Navratri, Hanukkah or Bhodi Day?

Honestly, most typical school kids don’t know what those are and aren’t expected to. These aren’t talked about much at all in school, and there’s no time off in school for any of them.

If these are celebrated by a student or teacher, they are required to miss a normal work day in order to properly celebrate. Non-Christian children have no way to celebrate their holidays without missing assignments, yet they’re expected to have time off without work to celebrate other religious holidays.

Let’s take Navatri for example, a Hindu holiday. According to BBC this celebrates the triumph of good over evil. This year, it spans nine nights from Sept. 29 – Oct. 8 overlapping a normal school week.

Christmas, however, is a one day holiday that has an almost two-week break. Yes, it’s an important holiday, but it’s not the only important holiday in December.

What about Hanukkah? Adam Sandler once sang that instead of one day of presents, they get eight crazy nights. Why is this not a holiday that’s given time off? Why are there people giving up their work days to celebrate their religious holidays while there are no assignments over Christmas?

Another winter holiday, Bhodi Day, is a celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment. Taking place on Dec. 8, Central York students will be in a normal school week. This year, it happens to fall on a Sunday, but this does not happen every year. In 2017, this holiday fell on a Friday which we were in school for. In order to celebrate, this is normally a day of school missed by a student who is in the Buddhist faith.

While, yes the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ are important, holidays celebrated by other religions are just as important.

These holidays don’t necessarily need to have all of America take work vacations for them, but those of the people who celebrate should have the right to take off of work or school for their religion’s holidays without using up vacation or sick time.

In a non-school environment, employers are allowed to deny an employee’s request for time off for holidays. In the U.S. there are no laws in place that say they have to accept time off requests due to religion.

The only law in place, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, says that the employer can not discriminate due to religion.

If a school or workplace is an inclusive, non-discriminatory environment, why are only Christian holidays accounted for and acknowledged? Why are non-Christian students not given time off for the biggest holidays in their religions and is that a discriminatory act on America’s part?

Ernest Hemmingway once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” Yet, there is superiority in which only certain religions are acknowledged in schools and workplaces. Having to take sick days to celebrate Bhodi Day and Hanukkah and not for Easter could, by some people, be considered superiority. America is one of the most inclusive countries in the world, yet Christianity prevails and has dominance in school and work vacations while other religions don’t have a chance to be represented.