Hindus are urging Dallas area independent school districts (including Dallas ISD and Highland Park ISD) and private, charter, and parochial schools to close for Diwali, the most popular festival in Hinduism, which falls on Oct. 24 this year.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who serves as president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement in Nevada that it’s not fair for Hindu pupils in Dallas schools to be required to go to school during the most popular festival while area schools close around other religious festivities.
Closing these schools would help students as it is vital for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali together at home, Zed said. He also said this change would display the schools’ respect for students’ faith, especially following a reported presence of a substantial number of Hindu students.
Zed urged the superintendents and trustees presidents across each of the nine districts to declare this official holiday and persuade private, charter, and parochial schools to follow. He also sought the support of Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, Texas Board of Education Chair Keven Ellis, Texas Private Schools Association Executive Director Laura Colangelo, Texas Private School Accreditation Commission, and Roman Catholic Bishop of Dallas Edward J. Burns on the issue.