A Jersey City school board meeting Thursday to vote on whether to close for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha on Sept. 24 turned contentious before the board ultimately decided not to close schools next week.
The Jersey City Board of Education had originally proposed to close schools next Thursday so that Muslim students could observe the holiday, and the City Council unanimously supported it a week ago. The academic year would have extended one day to June 23, 2016 as a result.
But during the nearly four hours of debate at the board meeting Thursday, some of the Jewish faith said they felt they were being discriminated against because they weren’t getting their own school days off for holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
“Many of our Jewish community members are feeling left out,” said parent Roy Tomargo.
As the debate wore on and it became clear that the school board would not close schools next Thursday, Muslim community members nearly walked out in anger and frustration.
“We feel alienated from the Board of Education, we feel alienated from this system,” said Omar Abouelkhair.
Read more: nbcnewyork.com