Parents upset over decision to keep Pasco schools open on Good Friday

By Fallon Silcox, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, April 14, 2017, 10:04 AM EDT

Many students in the Bay Area are out of school today and celebrating Good Friday, except for students in Pasco County.

  • Pasco schools open on Good Friday causes strife among parents
  • Parents say it's unfair for students who celebrate the religious holiday
  • Students who miss school get an excused absence for holiday

Many parents are fired up over the school district’s decision to not close schools on Good Friday.

Parents at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in New Port Richey said it is a tradition for their kids to put on the “living stations of the cross” at church every Good Friday—an important part of their Easter holiday—but this year, they’ll have to pull their kids from school to participate.

Although the district will excuse a student’s absence for the religious holiday, parents say they don’t think it’s fair.

“None of my other children had to attend school on Good Friday ever going to Pasco public schools, and I will be taking my kids out of school tomorrow. However, I feel like it’s not fair for them, although it will be an excused absence, still they’re penalized because they won’t be there for the daily instruction,” said parent Stephanie Bogdan.

Parents reached out to the superintendent, but the district said this year’s school calendar was approved last May and nothing can be changed now.

“I realize they can’t have every single religious day off, there’s many religions, but I think that Good Friday effects the majority of people and I think they have to take into consideration that the county is closed, and the county offices are closed, then it’s probably a pretty important day for society. I hope moving forward they consider having the day off,” said parent Suzanne Cuspilich.

Pasco County School Officials said in the years that the holiday doesn’t fall during spring break, the holiday isn’t observed, and next year, school is scheduled to be held again on Good Friday.