27 NJ school districts observe Diwali

New JerseyNila Pandya

NEW JERSEY: Over 27 school districts in New Jersey stayed closed for students on November 7, the day of festival Diwali.

In addition, there was early dismissal for students in other over 15 New Jersey school districts on Diwali day of November 7.

The New Jersey school districts with no classes for students on November seven include Chesterfield Township School District, Clifton Public Schools, Glen Rock Public Schools, Jersey City Public Schools, Passaic Public Schools, Piscataway Township Schools, South Brunswick School District, etc.

In addition, there was no school for students for Diwali on November 6 in Edison Township Public Schools. Bernards Township School District announced sometime back to close schools for students on Diwali when Diwali falls on a weekday starting with the 2021-2022 school year.

Rajan Zed, who had been actively backing inclusion of Diwali holiday in New Jersey schools, called it “a step in the positive direction”, and argued if schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali. Holidays of all major religions should be honoured and no one should be penalized for practising their religion, he said.

He thanked school districts for understanding the feelings of a large number of Indian American community members and showing respect to their faith.

Rajan urged New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy, New Jersey Education Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet and New Jersey State Board of Education President Arcelio Aponte to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in all the state’s public schools and persuading the private-charter-independent schools to follow.

Although many of these school districts had given reasons other than Diwali of closing schools for students or their early dismissal on November seven, but it provided a wonderful opportunity for Hindu families residing in these districts to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children.

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