Equality at Edison

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We are a group of students at Edison High School ranging from sophomores to seniors, and come from a variety of religious backgrounds. On this one issue, however, we stand together as One Edison.

As you may have heard, the senior schedule this year has posed a conflict because of the scheduling of two final exams for seniors, the senior picnic, and senior last day of school all on June 4, which is Eid. For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday, Eid is the biggest Muslim holiday of the year where we celebrate the conclusion of our month of fasting, Ramadan. To Muslims, it holds the same equivalency as Christmas for Christians, and Muslim students will not be in school on this day.

According to FCPS policies enacted to acknowledge religious groups such as Muslims and Jews, there should be alternatives to testing on these days and avoidance of significant events on them. While we understand that the final exam dates cannot be changed, we’re looking to move the senior picnic to after June 4, and if not possible, then sometime before June 4.

As a minority-majority school, Muslims comprise a significant part of the graduating class, and while the school’s decision to place the senior picnic on Eid may not have been intentional, the result was discriminatory.

We, both Muslim and not, firmly believe that no one should have to choose between school and their religion. Muslims are not asking for a national holiday or even calendar acknowledgement, but rather a simple act of respecting their traditions by not placing significant events on this day.

While the senior picnic may not seem that important of an issue, it is a symbol of larger issues minorities face in an increasingly hateful and intolerant American society. Whether it be on the basis of religion or not, many groups have found themselves oppressed and their voices suppressed, and we here at Edison cannot condone this. As a school, our administrators and students boast the “One Edison” policy, but, in this case, does this only apply when the people affected aren’t Muslim?

We call upon you today to join us in speaking out against the senior picnic on Eid and to fight for conscious religious acknowledgement for future years. It is our duty to stand together as One Edison and take this issue to our administrators, because if we don't speak out now, then who will?