The author of the resolution to close public schools in observance of two Muslim holidays, Robert Jackson, said that objections to the plan are the result of inflexible thinking.
Jackson, who is Muslim, said at a press conference this afternoon in City Hall, “Having to choose whether to send your children to school on your highest, holiest holidays where there may be an exam or stuff like that, it’s a clash situation and it should not have to happen.”
Jackson said approximately 12 percent of students in public school are Muslim and therefore should have their holidays incorporated into the public school calendar. Currently, Muslims who miss school in observance of these two days are not counted absent, but marked as having an “excused absence.”
When asked to respond to Bloomberg’s comments this morning that indicated the mayor was not in favor of the initiative, Jackson said it sounds like the mayor is “not being open-minded, he’s not being flexible, he’s not being inclusive.”
Jackson told reporters that there’s “flexibility” in the school calendar and that limiting school days, as Bloomberg suggested, is not an issue.