Thursday, July 14, 2011
Controversy Over Islamic Prayers at Ontario School
The Toronto Star has published multiple articles recently over a controversial practice at Valley Park Middle School in Toronto. The school has set aside the cafeteria after lunch on Fridays to be used for Islamic prayers. The prayers take place during normal school hours, but are not delivered or supervised by school employees. Supporters argue that is a reasonable accommodation for Valley Park's large Muslim student population (which used to leave school grounds for Friday prayers), while critics argue that public schools must remain secular and that the prayers reinforce sex discrimination, as female students sit behind male students, and menstruating girls are expected to observe but not participate.