Wednesday, June 17, 2015
MCPS drafts " Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity " in schools
The document opens by stating, "Montgomery County Public Schools are committed to a culture of respect and equity that embraces the diversity of our community and ensures that every student has the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Part of that commitment is making sure our students have the right to express their religious beliefs and process free from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. As a system, we are committed to making feasible and reasonable accommodations for those beliefs and practices."
A complete draft version of the document may be read here.
Mansfield Kaseman, County Executive Ike Leggett's Interfaith Community Liaison, reacted favorably to the document's release. "We are unaware of any other school system producing such a full spectrum of policies and guidelines," Kaseman said in a statement. "Thanks to our collaborative relationship, every principal, teacher, and family will have the guidelines in August."
The topic is particularly timely, as some Muslim public school students continue to press MCPS to show the same consideration of their religious holidays that other major religions have today. 170 students at Chevy Chase Elementary School recently submitted a petition to the school board asking for MCPS to close on two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.