Muslims pray five times a day according to the requirements of their religion. Students might be in class during a specified time, which results in Muslim prayer in schools. Schools have tried to accommodate their beliefs through different arrangements, such as Muslim prayer rooms.
Here are five public schools or districts attempted to satisfy Muslim prayer requirements without disturbing people of other faiths or interfering with policies regarding religion:
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Desert View High School in Tucson, Arizona, established a prayer room near its library for several Muslim students in 2014. A scheduled prayer time falls early in the afternoon when those students were still in school.
School administrators allowed the students to pray in the room for about 10 minutes during their lunch period. The Desert View principal notified the Sunnyside Unified School District of the prayer room in an email to Dr. Eugenia Favela, the acting superintendent.
Favela told TV station KVOA
she didn't think a public notice on the separate room was necessary. She told the station she had not received direct complaints, but heard about complaints second-hand.
Muslims were allowed "prayer accommodations" in 2013 in the public schools of Dearborn, Michigan. The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had negotiated an arrangement with school officials in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit.
The Dearborn school board implemented a policy that allowed a place for student prayers in all public schools and also permission to leave early on Friday for scheduled prayers, according to The Christian Post.
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Christian teachers became upset when Muslim students began praying during class at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland. It was at time of required prayer.
Principal Cheryl J. Logan told the students that public schools were not allowed to participate in religion practices during class. She came up with the idea of excusing Muslim students for eight minutes each day to pray together on campus, according to The Washington Post.
At Carver Elementary School in San Diego, administrators allowed Muslims to go on a short break for prayer during one of the scheduled times in 2007. Parents protested the scheduled recess. Although all children were allowed to take breaks at that time, critics charged it was arranged to meet Muslim demands.
So to satisfy all sides, the school rescheduled its lunch period in order to meet the requirements for Muslim prayer and to allow students of any faith to prayer if they choose, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
The city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada allows prayer rooms for Muslims in public schools, such as Sir Robert Borden High School. The high schools offer available classrooms to Muslim students during their time of prayer. Several high schools offer Friday prayer services for Muslims shortly after noon for their most important prayer, reports the Toronto Sun.
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