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Some Parents Want Students to Have Off for Diwali

A petition with several hundred signatures is expected to be presented to the Millburn school district.

A group of Asian-Indian parents is asking the Millburn school district to add the Hindu holiday of Diwali to its calendar of days off.

The one-day holiday typically falls between late October or early November.

The parents have started a petition and plan to present it to the school district, according to nj.com.

Earlier this year Short Hills resident Jyoti B. Sharma wrote a letter to the Star-Ledger addressing the community request.

The Asian student population in Millburn schools has grown 11 percent—up to 22 percent in the 2012-13 school year—over the past decade, according to New Jersey Department of Education data reported by NJ.com

"The [Diwali] festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India," according to the BBC.

DS February 11, 2014 at 07:00 AM
The NJ State rules are sufficient to cover anything. The state Education Department lists Diwali among more than 120 religious holidays in the 2013-14 school year where a student’s absence is excused. The observed holidays include a wide range of faiths. To be excused, students must present a signed note from a parent or guardian, the DOE says. If a student misses an exam due to an absence on a religious holiday, he or she must be given an alternative test to take, according to a DOE resolution adopted in July 2013. Alternatively, to support another holiday perhaps we do the smart thing and extend the school year through end of June at least and perhaps through July.
chokhi February 11, 2014 at 08:19 AM
Actually Diwali is a 5 day holiday not a one day as suggested above. There are religious rituals that take place over 5 days.

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