[Opinion] Students should not receive homework during Hanukkah

Madison Friedman, Writer

Beginning at sundown on Sunday, Nov. 28 and ending on Monday, Dec. 6, Hanukkah started exceptionally early this year. Located in a largely Jewish area, many Marjory Stonemen Douglas High School students celebrate the holiday.

With life returning to normalcy this year for the holidays, students can look forward to spending time with family after being quarantined last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this, there is the annual debate over whether it is appropriate for a student to receive homework during Hanukkah, as it falls during a week where school is in session.

A large number of students that attend MSD are Jewish, meaning they will be observing the holiday throughout the eight-day period, marking one of the greatest miracles that happened in Jewish history. During the eight nights of Hanukkah, families light their menorah and add a new candle each night to represent how many days the sacred oil lasted for the Maccabees.

Most students come home each night on a regular school day to do hours of homework, making family time during the holidays difficult. This is not something a student should have to deal with during their holiday celebration.

Students should not be receiving homework during these days of observance because it is a time meant for honoring their religious traditions.

During the nights of Hanukkah, Jews light their menorah with family at sundown with a prayer, then celebrate by opening gifts and spending time playing games and having dinner together. Though teachers tell students to simply finish their homework before evening time, this is still unfair. Students may spend the afternoons when they get home from school by preparing for their Hanukkah celebrations.
Students should not have to stress about getting their homework done during these times of celebration. Some students may also attend services with their family, leaving little time for homework.

Throughout the school year, various Jewish holidays fall on a day in which school is in session. Due to Hanukkah falling on different days every year, depending on the Jewish calendar, a lot of school time would be missed if Broward County Public Schools decided to close their campuses on those designated days. This is why teachers should simply ease up on the homework instead.

Usually during winter break, teachers do not assign homework for students who will be celebrating Christmas, so Hanukkah celebrators should receive the same treatment.

Many students desire a relaxing and fun Hanukkah with their family, so hopefully teachers will be understanding and assign no homework for the eight-day period of the holiday in the future.