A US school district was unanimously voted to add Diwali and Eid al-Adha in the school holiday calendar, for the first time in the school system's history.
The Indian-American community hailed the decision by Howard County Public School System, which manages 71 schools and serves nearly 50,000 students, as "historic". "I am extremely pleased by the Board's ability to discuss and unanimously agree to seek ways to recognize the diverse backgrounds of Howard County's students and families," said Christine O'Connor Board of Education chairwoman. Importantly, the eight member board has unanimously supported the motion.
"We want to do our best to find flexibility within the calendar to provide opportunities for all students to experience all cultures within our community," O'Connor said further.
The Indian-American community and the US-based Chinmaya Mission had started a petition that collected over 250 signatures in under three weeks, while the Board also received nearly 500 emails from parents asking for inclusion of Diwali.