Carnegie Shul Chatter – March 21, 2014

Candle lighting time is 7:14

What About the Jews?

It has been a long, cold, snowy winter in Pennsylvania.  Snow days have made it difficult for schools to meet the 180 instructional days required by Pennsylvania law.  The solution?  The Senate has unanimously passed and sent to the House a bill that will allow schools to, among other provisions, use up to three Saturdays in the 60 days leading up to graduation for graduation practice for seniors and to have these days counted as instructional days. This is an option only for the senior class.

But Senate Bill 1281 would allow school districts to calculate their school year on an hourly rather than daily basis without a waiver and to hold class on one Saturday per month to make up missed school days. All days must be made up by June 30.  If Saturdays are used for instruction, the bill allows students to be excused on Saturdays for religious or other activities, and districts that schedule instructional days on Saturdays cannot schedule tests on those days

Although the bill allows students to be excused on Saturdays for religious or other activities and does not allow tests to be given on Saturdays, to me this bill is wrong.  Why should Jewish students have to opt out and be perceived as different from everyone else?  Why not schedule classes on Sunday and let Christian students opt out?

And what about the SAT exams?  When I was a student I had to take these on a Saturday too.  Why can’t these tests be given on weekdays so that Jewish students don’t have to make other arrangements?

And then there is the issue of high school sports.  Friday night is traditionally football night at most high schools, although some Penn Hills stifled by Upper St. Clairplay on Saturday.  Of course Friday night and Saturday are our Sabbath, but so what?  Who cares about inconveniencing Jewish athletes, band members, fans, or parents?  Of course the games can be changed, but when are they changed?  Only if it is necessary to get on the Thursday night Game of the Week on Root Sports, don’t you know.

And this year, Yom Kippur once again falls on a Friday night and Saturday.  Will high school football games be moved to Thursday?  Silly me – what am I thinking?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *