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Daily Talker: How Should Schools Handle Good Friday?

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Today is Good Friday, the most solemn day on the Christian religious calendar.

While this is a day off at many school districts, the Boston Globe reports 17 will hold classes today, including Belmont, Georgetown, Malden, and Marlborough. Other districts in places like Bedford, Belmont and Gloucester are also considering whether to continue holding classes for a half-day on Good Friday.

While Mansfield Public Schools will be off for Good Friday this year, students will be in class in 2015 after the School Committee voted to eliminate all religious holidays from the school calendar.

State and federal law requires school districts to allow teachers and students to take personal days or excused absences for religious purposes. “You can’t introduce any new material, or test, on those days,” said Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, in an interview with the Globe.

While the decision to close for religious holidays is made at the district level, each one extends the school calendar later into June in order to meet the state requirement of at least 180 school days. Half days are included in that count.

How do you think school districts should handle religious holidays like Good Friday, Yom Kippur, or others? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

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