De Blasio made the announcement at a Brooklyn public school where 36 percent of its students were absent on the last day Eid al-Adha occurred during an instructional day in the school year. The new days off will be built into the public calendar for the upcoming September, and summer school will be closed in observance of Eid al-Fitr. From Bloomberg:
"This is about respect for one of the great faiths of this Earth," said de Blasio, a 53-year-old Democrat. In past years, "either the child went and pursued his education and missed his religious observance or the other way around. That is the kind of choice that was wrong to have to make for these families."
This decision will make the NYC public school system the largest in the U.S. to close in observance of the two Muslim holy days. According to Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, hundreds of thousands of students in NYC public schools practice the Muslim faith.
[Image via AP]