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Lewiston Schools Reverse Decision To Make Two Jewish Holidays Paid Days Off

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Lewiston Public Schools
Lewiston High School

Less than a year after making two Jewish holidays paid days off, the Lewiston School Committee has reversed its decision.

The district's school committee voted Monday night to once again hold classes on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah next year. The decision comes only a few months after the committee decided to make the two Jewish holidays paid days off.

Superintendent Jake Langlais said that while students and staff can still personally recognize both days and take them off, the districtwide recognition is a logistical challenge that interrupts the school year.

"But also being mindful of continuity, and the number of days in the school year," Langlais said. "And in June, we're going late into the school year. I think this year, our calendar goes to the 20th of June."

Several school committee members, including Lynnea Hawkins, pushed back against the decision. Hawkins says recognizing a variety of religious holidays is more equitable and inclusive, even though it may require a bit of adjustment.

"Yes, there are some growing pains. But that doesn't mean you stop growing. It means you tough it out, get used to something different. And you keep going," she said.

In January, the district voted to make the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha paid holidays. Those holidays will continue to be recognized.