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Community Leaders Push To Make Diwali An Official Holiday For Students

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TWC News: Community Leaders Push To Make Diwali An Official Holiday For Students
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There's a push to add another holiday to the public school calendar.

Community leaders are calling on the Department of Education to make Diwali an official holiday for students.

The "festival of lights" is celebrated by the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh religions.

This year, it falls on Sunday, November 3, but it'll be on a weekday in 2014 and 2015.

Supporters say kids shouldn't have to choose between missing a school day or missing an important holiday.

"I feel that this is important because we take off holidays for other religious groups," said City Councilman Daniel Dromm of Queens. "We take off for Rosh Hashanah, for Christmas, for Easter, and we show respect for those religions, and we also know that it's not a time that people want to be in school. They want to be home with their families."

However, the mayor isn't on board with the idea.

His office released a statement saying in part, "The Mayor believes our students need more time in the classroom, not less. When you have a city as diverse as New York, you simply cannot add a holiday for every religion."

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