Peel District School Board Issues Fact Sheet on Religious Accommodation

In response to increasing criticism of its policy to accommodate Friday prayers for Muslim students, the Peel District School Board issued a 13-point Fact Sheet today on religious accommodation. The Board stated that it takes its legal obligations and commitment to genuine inclusion seriously. It sought to clarify important facts that are often misinterpreted. The Fact Sheet noted the following: the legal requirement for Ontario school boards to provide religious accommodation, that it has been taking place for over 15 years, that the Board does not favour one faith over another, and that religion does have a place in secular schools when accommodation is requested. Furthermore, it noted that Friday prayer does not negatively impact student learning, that staff will supervise but not interfere with the practice of faith, and that there is significant difference between the removal of the Lord’s prayer from school and Friday prayer accommodation.