Letter: Either close for religious holidays, or don’t

Posted 7/15/21

It appears the formerly hot button issue in Bristol of Critical Race Theory has taken a back seat to the new flavor of the week — scheduling the first day of school on the first day of Rosh …

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Letter: Either close for religious holidays, or don’t

Posted

It appears the formerly hot button issue in Bristol of Critical Race Theory has taken a back seat to the new flavor of the week — scheduling the first day of school on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and while the two subjects are pretty much different, they do have some similarities.

While those opposed to teaching Critical Race Theory in our schools would rather whitewash history and forget the atrocities committed by Caucasians against people of color, due to their status as a dominant population, the majority of the Bristol Warren School Committee apparently feels that there is no need to make Rosh Hashanah a school holiday due to the small Jewish population in Bristol and Warren.

While my only observance of religious holidays is the celebration of receiving extra pay in my monthly pension check, I respect the fact that for many individuals, the celebration and observance of religious holidays is very important to them. And just because Jews make up a very small segment of the population in Bristol and Warren, that does not mean they should be discriminated against solely because they are a member of a minority group.

To me, it's no different than refusing to teach Critical Race Theory because of a lack of African-Americans in our two towns.

As far as I’m concerned, the Bristol Warren School Committee has only two choices — either make Rosh Hashanah a school holiday, or do away with all religious holidays, and only cancel school on secular holidays. And if they choose the second option, just watch the backlash from Christians when schools are open on Christmas and Good Friday. Either way, the school committee is going to receive a tremendous amount of criticism no matter what decision they make, but in my opinion, you cannot make rules that cater to the religious majority while ignoring the religious minority.

Mike Proto
Bristol

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