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Old 03-11-2024, 07:53 PM
 
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Hello, I've been searching everywhere for an answer to this, but haven't really found any answers regarding legality.

I teach in a public school. Our school has recently banned all music in classrooms, hallways, other gatherings, etc. outside of normal music classes in observance of Ramadan. About 2-3% of our student population is Muslim and observes Ramadan. This is in order to make sure the school is a safe place for all students.

I'm all for people practicing their own religion and I understand the intention behind putting in this kind of a ban. However, I feel like this is an overstepping of the school's authority and using religion to dictate what I can and cannot do in the classroom.

I've never encountered a total school ban on playing any kind of background music or music used in our curriculum before. Are there legal issues surrounding using a religion to alter school policy like this or do I just have to suck it up and cut out all music for the next month?

Any advice or feedback in the legal sense would be welcome.

 
Old 03-11-2024, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,761 posts, read 24,261,465 times
Reputation: 32905
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
Hello, I've been searching everywhere for an answer to this, but haven't really found any answers regarding legality.

I teach in a public school. Our school has recently banned all music in classrooms, hallways, other gatherings, etc. outside of normal music classes in observance of Ramadan. About 2-3% of our student population is Muslim and observes Ramadan. This is in order to make sure the school is a safe place for all students.

I'm all for people practicing their own religion and I understand the intention behind putting in this kind of a ban. However, I feel like this is an overstepping of the school's authority and using religion to dictate what I can and cannot do in the classroom.

I've never encountered a total school ban on playing any kind of background music or music used in our curriculum before. Are there legal issues surrounding using a religion to alter school policy like this or do I just have to suck it up and cut out all music for the next month?

Any advice or feedback in the legal sense would be welcome.
What music is it that you want? How does it apply to your curriculum?
 
Old 03-11-2024, 08:53 PM
 
2,634 posts, read 2,675,948 times
Reputation: 6512
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
What music is it that you want? How does it apply to your curriculum?
I pretty much use music throughout the entire day. Some of it is just generic elevator music when students walk in to start class. Some of it is soft classical music while they are working silently. Some days I play music in the hallways during passing time. Other music is tied to to the curriculum such as a song for dividing fractions, figuring out mean/median/mode, etc. In science, some of the Bill Nye videos have songs built in, which I'll use.

It's something that has been part of my classroom from the first day of school. When we are about to tackle a tough test or a topic, I'll play "we will rock you". It's kind of what my class is known for and kids look forward to.

I understand the question, "how is it tied to your curriculum", and to be honest, a lot of it is not tied to the curriculum. It's the atmosphere I try to set in my classroom. It's the same as when I ask students about how their weekend went, greet them at the door, do a silly group bonding activity, etc. It's just about building connections. This is not an issue during the remainder of the year, so the how does it tie to your curriculum is irrelevant during other times. It's only due to Ramadan that it's become an issue.

There's a pep rally coming up in the next week, which was schedule to have music, and it's been removed due to Ramadan.

I've been at this school for 7 years and this is the first time I've heard of a music ban during Ramadan. It was just casually put out there by the office staff, not by the principal, which I think is a little strange. I'm fine with whatever, but have never heard of something like this and I kind of feel like it crosses some boundaries regarding religion and the school. I could be wrong though. I'm interested to hear your opinion.

Last edited by TXRunner; 03-11-2024 at 09:31 PM..
 
Old 03-11-2024, 11:03 PM
 
11,630 posts, read 12,691,000 times
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What do the music teachers in your school do during Ramadan?

NYC public schools now have school closed for the two holiest days of Ramadan. If the students are that observant, they really should attend a Muslim school. I can just see this turning into a lawsuit at some point. How can music teachers prepare for any upcoming performances if the kids can't rehearse for a whole month?
 
Old 03-11-2024, 11:34 PM
 
Location: WA
5,439 posts, read 7,726,033 times
Reputation: 8538
We have an assortment of Muslim students at my school. At least 2%, if not more. This is suburban Vancouver WA.

During Ramadan they have a standing pass to attend prayer at some conference room annex that the counselors have provided. But beyond that they certainly don't change any curriculum in any classes at all. So I have the occasional student waving their pass and stepping out from time to time. But that is it. No one has told me not to have music in the classroom. There never is any music in the common areas or halls. I don't know any school that does that. I didn't even know there was a no-music part to the fasting.

I think in reality it is a big deal for the parents and as long as the schools is seen to be accommodating students they are satisfied. The kids themselves are like kids anywhere. They aren't so much into the religious observations when their parents aren't watching.
 
Old 03-12-2024, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,761 posts, read 24,261,465 times
Reputation: 32905
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
I pretty much use music throughout the entire day. Some of it is just generic elevator music when students walk in to start class. Some of it is soft classical music while they are working silently. Some days I play music in the hallways during passing time. Other music is tied to to the curriculum such as a song for dividing fractions, figuring out mean/median/mode, etc. In science, some of the Bill Nye videos have songs built in, which I'll use.

It's something that has been part of my classroom from the first day of school. When we are about to tackle a tough test or a topic, I'll play "we will rock you". It's kind of what my class is known for and kids look forward to.

I understand the question, "how is it tied to your curriculum", and to be honest, a lot of it is not tied to the curriculum. It's the atmosphere I try to set in my classroom. It's the same as when I ask students about how their weekend went, greet them at the door, do a silly group bonding activity, etc. It's just about building connections. This is not an issue during the remainder of the year, so the how does it tie to your curriculum is irrelevant during other times. It's only due to Ramadan that it's become an issue.

There's a pep rally coming up in the next week, which was schedule to have music, and it's been removed due to Ramadan.

I've been at this school for 7 years and this is the first time I've heard of a music ban during Ramadan. It was just casually put out there by the office staff, not by the principal, which I think is a little strange. I'm fine with whatever, but have never heard of something like this and I kind of feel like it crosses some boundaries regarding religion and the school. I could be wrong though. I'm interested to hear your opinion.
https://riyaazqawwali.com/can-you-li...s%20acceptable.
 
Old 03-12-2024, 05:23 AM
 
17,597 posts, read 17,629,777 times
Reputation: 25655
I doubt they, public schools, would extend such measures towards Christian, catholic, or Jewish students.
 
Old 03-12-2024, 05:45 AM
 
Location: In a happy, quieter home now! :)
16,904 posts, read 16,116,328 times
Reputation: 75591
Music in classes? No wonder people today are dumber than dirt!
 
Old 03-12-2024, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,761 posts, read 24,261,465 times
Reputation: 32905
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
Catering to the demands of the minority is a win for Islam. . . they are making the infidels obey their laws.
So respecting the religion of the majority in schools is good, while respecting the religion of the minority in schools is bad?
 
Old 03-12-2024, 05:58 AM
 
2,634 posts, read 2,675,948 times
Reputation: 6512
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
What do the music teachers in your school do during Ramadan?

NYC public schools now have school closed for the two holiest days of Ramadan. If the students are that observant, they really should attend a Muslim school. I can just see this turning into a lawsuit at some point. How can music teachers prepare for any upcoming performances if the kids can't rehearse for a whole month?
The students have a study hall in the library during music classes during Ramadan.
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