Senator Kevin Thomas Bill Gives Day Off from School for Certain Religious Observances

(Garden City, NY) – With a growing diversity in our communities, Senator Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) has sponsored a bill that would give students the day off for several religious holidays. The legislation would require closure where individual school districts have at least seven and a half percent of student population, who celebrate that particular religious holiday.

“Many students are forced to take off each year to observe holidays with their families. This bill would finally rectify that. No longer should these holidays come with a sick day for missing classes,” Senator Kevin Thomas said.

The holidays included on the list are: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the most important days on the Islamic calendar; Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights each Autumn; Vaisakhi, a religious festival in Sikhism; Onam, an annual Hindu celebration with its origins in the state of Kerala in India; and Good Friday, which starts off the holy Easter weekend for members of the Christian faith.

It goes into effect on the first July date after becoming law.

“While it’s long overdue, I’m glad to be the one addressing this concern for many of the residents in my district,” Senator Thomas added.

The bill advanced to Education Committee.