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Texas School Asks Mother to Prove Child is Jewish to Excuse Holiday Absence

October 22, 2018

Lauren Gordon, a Jewish mother from Texas, says that her daughter’s school asked for proof that the child is Jewish in order to excuse her for Yom Kippur. The Garland Independent School District reportedly requested that Gordon “send documentation from the religious establishment you attended.”

“That response basically told me that they didn’t believe that we were Jewish,” said Gordon. “[T]hey needed proof. Honestly, it upset me just as much as it made me angry.” It subsequently came to light that other area schools were also asking for proof of the students’ Jewish identities in order to excuse them from school for Jewish holidays, a practice that a local rabbi said is new.

According to Gordon, the school’s principal has “formally apologized, said she did not mean to offend us in any way and moving forward this will never be an issue at her school while she is there.”

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