I read a fantastic piece of news today from Domestic Witchery Examiner.  Having gone to Catholic schools all my life, this was never an issue for me; only Christian holidays were observed or excused.  Anything else was a reported absence.  Even with a note I would’ve caught Hell for missing a day for a sabbat.

It seems that a mother in New Jersey wrote a note in advance for her daughter to be excused from school to attend Yule and was told the absence would be noted as excused but that Yule was not included on the schools approved holidays.  After being repeatedly brushed-off, and after swimming through several bureaucratic channels of command,  the girl’s mother, who is a reverend in her tradition threatened legal action.  The vote finally reached a state level, and New jersey’s 2010-2011 will include all eight Wiccan/Pagan sabbats.  I would like to make a couple comments about this, besides the obvious or expected ‘it’s about time!”

I would first like to express gratitude to the friends, family, and supporters of this woman, many who are not Pagan, who wrote letters to the Board of Education asking that this expression of religious freedom be extended to the Pagan/Wiccan community.  From my family and many around the country dealing with the sometimes daunting task of raising children in a Pagan/Wiccan household, thank you.

More importantly I would like to send a huge “shame on you!” to the forums and message boards this woman went to for support who told her it was not their problem because they don’t have children.  As a community often misunderstood and omitted from opportunities afforded other religious systems, we need to support each other as often and as outwardly as possible.  There are innumerable families out here who are no longer content to raise our children in the broom closet, who are no longer hiding our beliefs from our children like a dark secret, and who should not be any more afraid to wear a pentagram necklace than we would a crucifix or a Star of David.  We are ignored enough without it coming from within our own community, and this level of disownership of a prominent member is unacceptable.

That being said, this is still a marked victory, and New Jersey just moved up a peg on my list, even if it still smells funny.