C.R. Gummow School in Cobourg Issues Apology for Miscommunication Regarding Ramadan

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C.R. Gummow School in Cobourg as issues a apology to families after information was shared in the monthly newsletter about Ramadan Participation.

The information in the newsletter stated, “Ramadan begins around March 10t, which is during March Break so we will celebrate at C.R. Gummow from March 18th to April 9th. This year the group will be grades 3 to 8. Parents and students, please let your teacher know if you will be participating in Ramadan prayers.”

Parents of children at the school reached out to Today’s Northumberland with concerns.

“Why are kids participating in Ramadan prayer at school but the Lord’s Prayer was deleted decades ago?”

“It just seems like Christianity is being deleted, but if it’s someone else’s religion, we are accommodating.”

Reaching out to Greg Kidd who is the Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, he stated a apology was issued after Today’s Northumberland inquiry.

“We would like to apologize for the miscommunication and inaccurate information in our February newsletter sent out on February 23. To clarify, please find below further information on how we are supporting students who observe Ramadan during this time.

Ramadan begins on Sunday, March 10 at sundown and ends at sundown on Tuesday, April 9 and is an important time in the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims. Ramadan is a time for fasting, spiritual reflections, prayer, doing good deeds, and spending time with family and friends. A prayer space is available for students who wish to pray. Please let your teacher know if there are any other accommodations, we can provide to support your child during Ramadan.”

Kidd stated to Today’s Northumberland that the clarification was important because the school wanted to make it clear to families, “that there were provisions for students on an individual basis to be excused for prayer.”

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Chair Jaine Klassen Jeninga further stated, “Schools make prayer space available for individual students, of all faiths, who wish to pray at certain times of the school day, or certain times of the school year in accordance with their religious beliefs. Schools will support students and families who wish to make use of this space throughout the year, they simply need to let their teacher or school staff know.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, all school boards in the province have a duty to accommodate the faith needs of their students.

With the approach of Ramadan, an important time for Muslim students and families, the school wanted to remind families that these accommodations are available.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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