Holidays are a fundamental part of many religions, cultures, and ethnicities. Schools recognize this and in turn give students days off for the given holiday that they observe. City and Country students observe a diverse selection of holidays and the school tries its best to incorporate the holidays that their students celebrate into the school calendar to have days off. All students get days off for holidays that they don’t celebrate but don’t receive days off for national holidays, such as Halloween or Veteran’s Day. Given that some students don’t celebrate Halloween, it seems fair that a day off isn’t reasonable. However, if almost all students celebrate it, wouldn’t a day off seem reasonable?
One could argue that days off are only reserved for religious holidays, but C&C students have no school on Memorial Day or MLK Day. It isn’t true that for every holiday students be given a day off school every holiday that is important to them should at least be recognized. Even though Halloween is considered a widely celebrated American holiday and some schools do give students off, we at C&C do not. When asked whether or not he thinks it is fair that students get certain holidays off and not others, Quinn Kleinhans of the XIIIs responded yes “because it’s not up to us to just decide that we don’t have school.” On the other hand, Mia Rutkovsky of the XIIIs said, “Noooooooo” when asked the same question. “Everyone celebrates different holidays and it is unfair to celebrate some and not others.”
Marco Fennel, XIIIs, picked the option “meh” when asked if C&C picks which holidays students get off fairly. He went on to say, “They don’t really like to give days off, like, they’re reluctant to let children be free.” On the opposing side of this, Edie in the Xs said: “because there is a variety and it allows students of different backgrounds to all celebrate the holidays they observe.” There are many different opinions expressed by the student body, so Scott Moran, the school principal, and Michele Bloom, the director of the middle and upper school, expressed their opinion.
Both Scott and Michele mentioned the Guild of Independent Schools which consists of the independent schools in the 5 boroughs. Each year, they contrive 2 school calendars which mark what days we have off and sends them to all of the independent schools in the guild.
“Our basic idea at school is that we, basically, don’t celebrate holidays,” Scott said when asked why students couldn’t celebrate in school, “We officially as a school doesn’t celebrate these days by marking them.” He also said, “Our school for a long time, probably since it began, thought that we didn’t celebrate holidays.” Scott and Michele both explained that a lot of the holidays we have off are because faculty would take the day off to celebrate. Scott said, “That seems like a good reason, but it sends a message that rules in favor of the majority.”
According to the majority of students interviewed, the days C&C students get off are “kind of” chosen fairly. It is important to accommodate all students and the holidays that they celebrate. By acknowledging the holidays that students observe, we are acknowledging the diversity of our school which is something that all should celebrate.