Maryland students are petitioning their schools to receive the Chinese Lunar New Year off as a holiday, students said Sunday.
Montgomery County Public Schools, which boasts over 161,000 students, surveyed the community regarding which days it should grant students as holidays and received around 40,000 responses, reported The Washington Post. The Chinese New Year typically falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20.
“It’s important to me to be off because it’s the best chance I get to relate to my family in China, and to connect more with my parents and my brother, and to learn more about my culture,” Roberto Clemente Middle School student Angelina Xu told WaPo.
Some supporters of the initiative cite Montgomery County Public Schools’ decision to give students Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holidays as a reason for why the Chinese Lunar New Year should also be afforded a day off. The district awarded Jewish students holidays in the 1970s, when significant student and faculty absences impaired school operations. Montgomery’s Muslim students received Eid al-Adha as a holiday in 2015.
“If you’re going to respect one culture, you must respect all,” Eastern Middle School eighth grade student Evelyn Shue said. (RELATED: California Bill Wants To Drop Washington/Lincoln’s Birthday And Replace It With Communist Holiday [VIDEO])
“Practicing tradition helps us remember our roots,” ninth-grade student Benjamin Lee said to Montgomery’s school board.
New York City schools, the largest school district in the country, established the Lunar New Year as a holiday in 2016 and, while not nominally recognizing the holiday, Howard County Public Schools created a no-school teacher workday that coincided with the holiday.
Montgomery County Public Schools did not respond immediately to a request for comment. The district will unveil results of the survey when its school board committee meets on July 19.
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