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St. Patrick’s Day Would Become A School Holiday If Queens Pol’s Bill Becomes Law

Children paying tribute to their Irish heritage in Sunnyside

Children paying tribute to their Irish heritage in Sunnyside

Feb. 18, 2016 By Christian Murray

New York City school children who live in Irish communities would be granted a day off school to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day if a Queens State Senator’s bill becomes law.

State Sen. Tony Avella, who represents Northeast Queens, introduced a bill Tuesday that would establish Saint Patrick’s Day as a school holiday in districts with a significant Irish population.

Avella, in a statement, said he was prompted to take action after learning that the New York City parent-teacher conferences would be held on the Irish Saint’s holiday, as it was in 2011 when the 250th annual parade took place. Many teachers were infuriated that they would have to work late during their cultural holiday.

Avella argues that Saint Patrick’s Day should be established as a school holiday, just as many other cultural and religious holidays are, and noted that the Irish community is long overdue for this recognition.

Using the language of the Lunar New Year school holiday bill that unanimously passed the State Senate, Avella introduced his bill that would establish Saint Patrick’s Day as a school holiday in City School Districts of one million or more, with an Irish population of 7.5% or greater.

The bill, which was introduced just two days ago, has yet to get any co-sponsors in the senate and a similar bill has not been introduced into the Assembly.

New York State, according to Avella, has the largest concentrated Irish population in the United States, 12.9%, and New York City itself was the first to host a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 1762, which continues to be one of the most widely attended traditions in the city.

“It is really quite astounding that Saint Patrick’s Day is yet to be recognized as a school holiday in New York, where so many Irish immigrants originally settled and where so many of their descendants still live,” Avella said. “Let us extend the same courtesy to the Irish as we have to so many other cultural and religious groups and let students and teachers alike observe this holiday with their friends and family. It isn’t just time we do this, it is time past due.”

Avella’s bill has the support of some Irish leaders.

“All immigrants in the City and State of New York are entitled to honor their heritage. Recognizing March 17th and the significance to millions of New Yorkers in celebrating the Feast Day of Patrick the Patron Saint…will ensure that generations of students will acknowledge the cultural, spiritual, civic and educational contributions of the Irish to New York,” said Siobhan Dennehy, the executive director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

22 Comments

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doc

If it does not pass I would suggest that any teachers affected use sick time / personal time to take the day off if the city chooses to schedule parent conferences when they have other plans. If they miss the parent conferences thats on the board of ed. Teachers should enforce their contract, same as any other job.

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king henrik

Hey fake dt, i read your post and answered it, they took u down and put you back up.how did that happen. Are you gonna build a wall by cinco de mayo

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WoodsiderLuv

No offense to the Irish , but why do kids need the day off! Let’s be honest, the holiday is just an excuse to get drunk. I don’t think many children will be bar hopping. Plus, last I knew corn beef and cabbage is served at dinner. So, I am not sure what kids will be missing if they are in school till until 2:30??

Reply
doc

“Avella, in a statement, said he was prompted to take action after learning that the New York City parent-teacher conferences would be held on the Irish Saint’s holiday, as it was in 2011 when the 250th annual parade took place. Many teachers were infuriated that they would have to work late during their cultural holiday” Next time read the article before commenting.
Unless you want dinner at 10:00 at night it is a problem.

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WoodsiderLuv

Give me a break. Teachers bitch way too much!! They get enough time off. Let’s face it, a large portion of teachers when into academics because they thought it would be an easy gig and would have summers off. They get paid way too much to be complaining esp. when we are behind the rest of the world when it comes to learning.

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ann

What a ridiculous idea! How many more holidays are there? Any lost school days have to be made up in order to get state funding, so all this does is stretch out the school year. Pandering politician.

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Me

This is RIDICULOUS!!!! Another HOLIDAY??? Pretty soon kids will be getting out of school in the middle of JULY!

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is bacon still a trend, cause i never stopped

teachers infuriated becuase they dont want to work late on their cultural holiday…. damn straight!!!! dont want to arrive at the pub too late. What do Irish do on this besides get wrecked? This aint nothing like Lunar New Year, sorry.

vote this thing down now, stupid idea

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the north side

judging by your grammar you didn’t spend too much time in school that is if you ever even went to school

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SuperWitty Smitty

Clever how you pointed out grammatical sloppiness but in the process forgot to punctuate!

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