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Education A National Roundup

Georgia School System Proposes Accommodations for Muslims

By Mary Ann Zehr — November 09, 2004 1 min read

The Gwinnett County school system in Georgia has drafted a plan to release Muslim students from classes to attend Islamic prayer services on Fridays.

School officials announced the plan after an Oct. 27 meeting with a representative of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, an imam of a local mosque, and a Muslim father of two high school students in the district.

The meeting was set up to consider the parent’s request that his children be able to participate in congregational prayers at a mosque during the final period of the school day on Fridays, according to Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for the 135,000-student district.

“The system’s concerns have to do with attendance requirements,” she said.

Gwinnett school officials proposed three options, each of which would allow students to miss class time to go to prayer services, but would require them to make up the time. For the makeup, they could take a class online, attend an after-school class, or earn academic credit for religious instruction from another institution.

As of late last week, local Muslim leaders had not told school officials if the plan was acceptable.

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