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Religious Holidays and Public School

My oldest will be starting Kindergarten in Sept. I was just going over the "days off" schedule for the coming school year and realized that NONE of MY religious holidays are day's off unless they happen to fall on a weekend. Now, we have an inter-religious home, my children aren't really taught any of the religious meanings to the days BUT, they still participate. Now the school year is set up around Christian religious days (as is normal here) and that's fine with me. But while they give them the week following Christmas off, they don't have Solstice/Yule off at all.

Now, here's my question, how does everyone feel about keeping my child/ren home from school on days which we celebrate holidays if they aren't given them off by the school? Would that be inappropriate and is it legal (since you are supposed to have doctors notes for days missed)? Would you or do you keep your children home for religious days which they are scheduled to go to school on?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 2:28 PM on Mar. 12, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • It is legal to keep kids home for religious holidays, and most schools have a section in the handbook to cover it. Usually they just ask that you let them know in advance. Now, the downside to that is it means you have to be very upfront with the school that your kids are not Christian, and depending on where you live, that may make life very difficult for them in that school.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:32 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • As a teacher I would say it's totally appropriate to keep them home if you are celebrating. Let the teacher know ahead of time and they should be really accomadating. Just call in to the school and let them know what's going on.


    Answer by skittles1108 at 2:33 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • You ARE allowed to pull your children out of school for your religion. And i would DEF take my kids out for those days :D

    Answer by kylansmommy09 at 2:45 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • My dad always took us out of school on days when conventions (grew up JW) fell on a weekday. That was never a problem. If you feel it's important, you should do it. I don't think it'll be a problem.

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 3:46 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • If its important for you to pull them out for a day to honor your holidays...go for it.
    Just be respectful and let them know ahead of time.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 4:10 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • 1. Yes im pretty sure its "OK by the school.
    2. THEY ARE YOUR KIDS! When ur child turns 5 (orwhatever) you dont turn your parental rights over to the school & let them dictate when u can or cannot have your child! :-)
    -- This is a hard part for me when thinking about sending dd to school... Its very hard to think how much we actually give up when puting our kids in school... The school suddenly "owns" our kids more hours a week than we do practically.

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 4:47 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • I don't see a problem with it.

    You need a doctors note when they are sick?


    Answer by beeky at 4:58 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • You need a doctors note when they are sick?

    To excuse the absence. If a child has too many unexcused absences or tardies, it can count against them and keep them from passing - different districts have different limits. A dr's note excuses them and they don't count against them. Same for the religious observances, funerals, etc, if they know up front ahead of time it'll be excused.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:12 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • I don't have any problem with them going to school, in fact I am looking forward to it! And I know I don't turn them over or anything, but there are laws as to why and when children are permitted to miss school. That's why they require doctors notes when they are sick. But I wasn't sure if religious reasons were enough. My children's teachers & school will be well informed as to my beliefs, so that's no issue either. I have created an "FYI" packet to help the teachers understand the beliefs that are in the home. Because my DH is Christian we don't teach the kids religion at all, but they are bound to pick it up here and there just through stories and celebrations little by little. But no one I've ever known chose to keep their kids home those days. I just feel like getting up and opening gifts for solstice just to go to school and not get to play with them is cruel!

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 5:13 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • NP, we are required to present a doctors note for EVERY absence, but they still count against them. And if they have more than 10 absences in a year the school contacts CPS and you are fined. I even know a woman that served time in jail because her daughter missed more than 30 days in one school year. They are really strict about days missed here!

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 5:15 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

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