Asian-American groups lobby City Hall to add Lunar New Year to New York public school calendar

EMBED </>More Videos


Some New York City lawmakers are urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to add to add another holiday the the public school calendar.

They say students should be off on the Lunar New Year, and the push comes days after the city added two Muslim holidays.

Back in 2013, while de Blasio was campaigning, he said during a debate that the Asian new year should become an official school holiday.

A group of Asian community leaders gathered at City Hall Friday to plead with the mayor to keep his promise and make the change beginning February 8, 2016.

"We thank the mayor for celebrating the Muslim holiday," New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim said. "I think that's a great thing that he accomplished, and we stand strong with them on those two, on that accomplishment. But at the same time, when you validate one community, you have to be careful not to invalidate other communities."

The Lunar New Year is by far the most important holiday for many Asian New Yorkers, and children of Asian descent make up about 15 percent of the city's public school population. Now. their parents and elected leaders are calling for more respect.

"So we're here just to remind the mayor, keep your commitment and respect our community," Councilwoman Margaret Chin said. "That Lunar New Year is a major holiday for the Asian-American community."

Sources within the mayor's administration indicated that this will probably happen, though not by 2016 because that school calendar is already set.

Meanwhile, Schools Chancellor Carmin Farina said it is often difficult to add holidays that change dates every year, as one based on the lunar calendar does.
Related Topics:
educationasian americanschoolNew York City
(Copyright ©2018 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)