Teachers' Union Sues Rhode Island School for Banning Observation of Good Friday

Teachers' Union Sues Rhode Island School for Banning Observation of Good Friday

A group of Rhode Island teachers have filed suit against the Cranston School Department after the department refused to allow teachers time off in observance of Good Friday

Christian Today reports that the Cranston School Department rules allow teachers to request leave for religious reasons twice a year. But when teachers requested to take off April 3 to observe Good Friday, their requests were denied. 

The Cranson Teachers’ Alliance is fighting back against the decision. 

Alliance president Lizbeth Lark said, "If the Cranston School Committee wants to open schools on important religious holidays, they must honour and respect their employees' religious beliefs.”

According to Christian today, Jewish teachers that had requested a day off to observe Yom Kippur were granted the leave last year. 

"I wish they had not opened school on the Jewish Holy days and Good Friday, but since they made that decision they should not be telling Christians of all denominations that Good Friday is not important enough to merit a religious leave day,” Lark said. 

Cranston School Superintendent Judith Lundsten said the teachers were not granted the leave because Good Friday does not require Christians to attend a religious service to observe the holiday. 

"The contractual language states, they may be granted the day off if their religious observance obligations require attendance at religious services held during the school day," Lundsten said.

Publication date: March 24, 2015