Home » Ramadan: How Public Schools Are Recognizing The Sacred Islamic Month

Ramadan: How Public Schools Are Recognizing The Sacred Islamic Month

by Black America Web
Muslim students may request special accommodations during the Islamic month of fasting.

mkitina4 via Getty Images


Ramadan – the Islamic month of fasting – is set to begin on March 22, 2023. Amaarah DeCuir, who researches Muslim student experiences, offers insights into how public schools are moving toward greater recognition of the sacred Islamic month.

How many Muslim students are enrolled in public schools in the US?

There are 3.85 million Muslims in the United States. Of that number, 1.35 million are children.

Although this may only represent a small portion of public school students nationwide – and many Muslim children attend private Islamic schools – Muslim students are a part of a 60% majority of students in public schools who say that religion is important in their lives.

What are public schools legally obligated to do for Ramadan?

Federal law – specifically Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – protects all students from discrimination based on race, color or national origin. This includes students of any religion.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on constitutionally protected prayer and religious expression. This gave school leaders detailed information on federal protections for students who seek to practice their religion during the school day. These guidelines help schools prepare adequate accommodations for Muslim students year-round, including during Ramadan. The guidance specifically mentions Ramadan and says Muslim students also have constitutional protections that permit them to pray during non-instructional time, as long as it doesn’t disturb other students.

What are the benefits when schools recognize Ramadan?

Research shows that students have a stronger sense of belonging, have better well-being and do better academically when they attend a school that fosters a positive environment that recognizes the diversity of the student body.

By contrast, students who experience…

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