Dear Dawg: We’ve got a small but growing number of Muslim students entering our schools, and so some issues are coming up about how to accommodate some of their religious practices. Do you know of any good resources on this subject? I KNOW THE BASICS….I THINK.
DEAR I KNOW THE BASICS: Well, I suspect you do know the basics. All students are welcome in our public schools, and all are to be treated with respect, dignity and non-discrimination. Non-discrimination often involves making accommodations and/or exceptions from your general rules, as long as this does not create a major problem. Issues may arise involving clothing, dietary restrictions, holidays, classroom assignments, mixing of the sexes, and prayer during the school day.
Here are two good resources: first, An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices https://www.cair.com/images/pdf/educators_guide.pdf.
Second, for the lawyers who are members of the Council of School Attorneys, the June 2016 issue of Inquiry and Analysis: https://cdn-files.nsba.org/s3fs-public/reports/0616_InquiryAnalysis.pdf?F6S7R2.mWsv2EwZu3jCK21.9alNwbyZf
Questions about the proper boundary line between a proper accommodation and an improper one are tricky and require specific legal advice. But these publications will get you off to a good start.
DAWG BONE: LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP. RESEARCH BEFORE YOU DECIDE.
File this one under: RELIGION