To the Editor:
It is unfortunate that for the first time in recent memory, students, teachers, and other employees in our local school district will be working this year on Good Friday.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We can all stay home on Good Friday and show the ORR school committee that this day is still an important observance for our families and for our community. In addition to observing the historical and personal meaning of the day, many will be traveling and making preparations for Easter.
The observance of Good Friday has a deep historical significance to our country and to our local area. And our nation has long recognized the secular importance of its religious traditions, such as when President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a federal holiday in 1870.
It is notable that Cuba – a country which officially outlawed all religious observances and practices for decades – declared just last year that Good Friday should be a national holiday every year in its country.
Meanwhile, at almost the very same time that Cuba was making its historic reversal, the ORR School Committee was embracing a far different and darker policy – similar to that in Havana back in 1959. The paradox is unsettling.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act clearly prohibits any form of negative repercussion or discrimination against an employee who stays home from work on Good Friday. We should trust that the ORR school district will strictly adhere to the spirit and letter of this law.
To students, parents, teachers, administrators, office workers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians who observe Good Friday: Let’s stay home from school and work on this day so the committee will reverse its decision.
David F. Pierre, Jr., Mattapoisett
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