HILLIARD, Ohio — A petition drive by a group of Muslim students in Hilliard resulted in the first school district in Ohio to recognize the Muslim holiday of Eid.
As a result, the district will change the school calendar to reflect a district holiday.
The Hilliard School Board voted unanimously 5-0 to approve the holiday on Thursday.
"I thought it would be really hard and take years," said Randa Hamadmad, one of several students who requested the change.
She said many Muslim students take advanced placement classes and when the holiday falls on a school day, they often skip the holiday so they don't miss a test or avoid having to catch up on missed school work.
Because Eid follows the lunar calendar, it doesn't always fall on a school day. The holiday starts tomorrow.
The Hilliard Board of Education says the approval of the holiday won't impact the 2022-2023 school year but will be taken into consideration in 2026 when the holiday falls on a school day.
In a statement to 10TV, the President of the Board of Education, Nadia Long said "Logistically, close to 20% of our students were absent this year on the holiday, which disrupts the learning process for all our students, this is just another reason it makes sense to have the day off. Making it easier for students to celebrate Eid without sacrificing their schoolwork demonstrates our district's commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and equity. We hope this tells our students they are not only welcome here, but they belong here and are celebrated here."
The Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) praised the school board for its action saying.
"We applaud these students for their advocacy work and the Hilliard Board of Education for recognizing this important holiday for Muslims. Throughout the year, CAIR-Ohio responds to requests from Muslim students about Eid excused absences and other Islamic observances. These accommodations are not just an important aspect of inclusive environments; rather, they are a necessity to practicing our faith free from discrimination. By including Eid al-Fitr as a holiday, the district also sends an important message that all students, staff, and families are valued," said CAIR-Ohio Acting Executive Director Amina Barhumi.