Parents of students in the Levittown School District were upset when their children came home with calendars that did not list holidays.
The printed 2017-18 calendar, which was recently mailed to homes in the district, intentionally does not name any holidays and simply marks the days children have off.
“Due to the number of holidays celebrated and the fact that our schools are closed on some and open on others, it was decided to eliminate all references to holidays and simply indicate the days schools are closed in the printed calendar,” the district wrote on its website. “In making this decision, we were also mindful of the risk of accidentally omitting any holidays.”
Angry parents perceived this as political correctness once again overstepping tradition.
“I think it’s terrible and disgusting,” one district resident wrote on Facebook. “The school should be ashamed of themselves.”
Another resident wrote on the Levittown Patch Facebook page, “How sad that political correctness has whitewashed even a school calendar!”
The East Meadow School District of New York used a different tact at the end of last year to make its calendar politically correct.
“I am proud to say we have a diverse community here in our school district,” said East Meadow Superintendent Leon Campo. “After doing a lot of research on both holidays, I recommend to the board to adopt Eid al-Adha and Diwali as school holidays, while recognizing Eid al-Fitr as a religious holiday.”
The Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha (“the Feast of the Sacrifice”) recognizes the story of Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son to God. This holiday occurs from Sep. 1 to Sep. 5 in 2017. Then, in the following month of October, on the 19th, the Hindu holiday Diwali (“the Festival of Lights”) will take place. It celebrates the “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”
The Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr may be added to the calendar in the future, according to Campo. East Meadow is one of only two districts on Long Island to recognize these holidays since most school districts only celebrate Christian and Jewish holidays.
Dennis Michael Lynch, CEO of DML NEWS, commented on this story because he grew up in Levittown. “Most people know Levittown as the home to Billy Joel and Bill O’Reilly. I grew up there as well, all my best friends are from Levittown. During Christmas, it used to be impossible to find one house without lights hanging up during Christmas. Today, they’re taking Christmas off the calendar because the area is overloaded with immigrants from the Middle East. I just went to visit the area last week, I didn’t recognize the place — all the stores are gone — locations that were once rented by bars, delicatessens and candy stores are now selling Middle Eastern food, hijab headwear, and Qurans. I’m all for legal immigration when done in moderation — and in a way that doesn’t wipe out the culture that made America great. But ripping Christmas from the school calendar is like kneeling during the national anthem… it ain’t cool.”
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