Change the Date of Prom So Our Muslim Students Can Attend
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Prom is always an exciting and magical time for high school seniors. Each year, young women and men alike eagerly look forward to their chance to dress up in their most glamorous look yet, and mark the conclusion of their journey in high school among good friends and classmates. It is truly a night to remember for all. However, this year, T.C. Williams High School is insisting on denying this opportunity to its Muslim student body.
This year, T.C. Williams has scheduled the Senior Class Prom to be held on May 19, 2018, four days after the start of the sacred Muslim holiday of Ramadan. During this holiday, Muslims practice fasting from both food, and the bad habits they’ve developed throughout the year. Nightly prayers, Taraweeh, are also performed during this time. Consequently, Muslim students will not be able to attend Prom. Despite this, TCW has clearly expressed their refusal to make accommodations for their large Muslim Senior student body. This issue has already been brought to the attention of student members of the school’s Leadership committee, teachers, and the Senior Class President by concerned Muslim and non-Muslim seniors at TC, only to be met with ignorant responses asking “There will be food there, so what’s the problem?” and stating “ We already put in the deposit.”
This situation is incredibly unfair to the students considering if the Prom would only be rescheduled to the weekend before (May 12, 2018, before the start of Ramadan), they would be able to attend. The injustice is also amplified when we consider how strictly our school system respects Christian holidays. If Christmas or Easter was during this time, TCW would have taken these holidays into consideration when setting important school dates, and not scheduled anything during this time. And even if there was a mistake and an event like this was scheduled during one of these times, TCW would do everything in its power to reschedule Prom to a date that would not interfere with any Christian holidays. Why can’t Muslim holidays--and Muslim students--receive the same consideration and respect?
T.C. Williams High School prides itself on the wide array of races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures represented in its student body and strives to create an inclusive environment for all because of it. Students here are taught about racial and cultural tolerance and to see the beauty in differences. So how, then, can they stand so strongly for these beliefs, yet at the same time blatantly deny its Muslim students the opportunity to attend an event many have looked forward to for the past four years? The hypocrisy is indisputable. Please support the Muslim Student Association, Black Student Union, and students of T.C. Williams in rectifying this injustice by petitioning to move the Prom to one week before its current date in respect of Ramadan and our Muslim student body. If you are not a TC Williams student, and would still like to support this cause, please send an email with your thoughts on this issue to the Principal of TC Williams, Mr. Balas, at email@example.com.
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