Texas woman: School district made me prove child was Jewish for Yom Kippur absence
A Jewish mother in Texas says the local school district forced her to provide documentation from a religious establishment in order to excuse her child’s absence on Yom Kippur.
Lauren Gordon had asked for her child to be excused last month, but the Garland Independent School District, just north of Dallas, told her to “send documentation from the religious establishment you attended,” according to CBS 11 in Dallas Fort Worth.
“That response basically told me that they didn’t believe that we were Jewish. That they needed proof,” Gordon told CBS 11. “Honestly, it upset me just as much as it made me angry.”
Gordon said her friends told her it had happened to their children as well.
“It is surprising because that has never been a request from schools until recently,” said Andrew Paley, senior rabbi at the local Temple Shalom.
Gordon said she read the district’s student handbook and it stated that all religious holidays are excused.
She took her issues to the principal, who apologized and said it was not mean to be offensive and would not happen again.
The school district told The Hill that the “campus principal contacted the parent to share that information and to apologize for the miscommunication. Garland ISD does not require any proof of religion or other documentation beyond a parent note to excuse an absence for a religious holy day.”
Source: The Hill