No food, no water, no accomodations

Teachers lack awareness of Jones’ Muslim students

Ramadan, which happened from March 22 until April 20, was a busy one for students, especially as they managed their studies while fasting from sunrise to sunset.

A ritual of this holy month for Muslims is to fast during daylight hours. The effects of fasting differ from person to person, but they are most commonly felt in the afternoon.

“Fasting hasn’t affected my abilities during school hours, it’s just a matter of after school,” said Nazrin Iskandarova ‘26, a Muslim student. “I end up procrastinating my schoolwork until I break my fast, but even then I get slumpy. Once that happens, it’s not until 11 PM that I do my homework.”

Muslim students observed lackluster awareness from teachers about Ramadan, as students struggled to balance fasting and completing schoolwork.

“I have only had two teachers who even knew about Ramadan and only one offered accommodations,” said Zoha Ali ’26. “But, considering that I have seven teachers, it is not great that only one asked if I needed anything.”

Assignments being given to Muslim students without accommodations can often be strenuous.

“There are times that teachers give me deadlines when it’s time for me to break my fast, which makes balancing fasting and school work more complicated,” said Iskandarova.

Muslim students don’t want special attention for their Ramadan fast, but rather support.

“Obviously I don’t want everyone checking on me like ‘Oh my God, are you okay?’ But being given the option would be helpful especially with [Ramadan] being kind of hard to keep up during testing,” said Ali.

Some students also believe creating different time frames for Muslim students would be helpful as students wouldn’t have to worry about submissions conflicting with their fast and, in turn, have better focus on their studies.

“Extending deadlines to morning times would be helpful, especially with students having to prepare for the PSAT, SAT and AP exams,” said Iskandarova.

The lack of attention of Muslim students from Jones’ faculty could be attributed to the large student body, some students say.

“There are just so many people, making it hard to keep track of everyone and a lot of teachers don’t know about Ramadan in general, which is why I think it’s very important to bring awareness,” said Ali.

Students believe that increased discussion of Ramadan could go a long way.

“I know a little bit about the Muslim community but my knowledge is very limited,” said Calissa Stevens ’24, a non-Muslim student. “So even giving a brief introduction or summary of important events like Ramadan could make me, and many others, more knowledgeable.”

Reaching out to the Jones community is of great importance to better account for the Muslim student body.

“I found the email sent out by Mr. Feeley about Ramadan to be good,” said Ali. “Little events after school could also be informative to the Jones population.”

Although educating teachers is important, some Muslim students argue that it should not be the responsibility of the students.

“Teachers know who their students are and their backgrounds,” said Hafsa Omar ’23, a Muslim student. “It’s their responsibility as teachers to educate themselves and not the students’ duty to teach them.”

After all, it’s not just Muslim students that could benefit from raising teacher awareness of Ramadan, but non-Muslim students too.

“Teachers mentioning Ramadan in class could better student awareness of their peers,” said Stevens. “It’s important to get to know different religions in order to be more respectful and open-minded.”