Montgomery County's school board effectively turned down a request Tuesday from leaders of the county's growing Muslim community to recognize an Islamic holy day next school year with an official day off.

Saying they could not simply add a school closing for a religious occasion, board members asked that student and staff attendance be monitored closely on future Muslim holidays to determine whether there is sufficient absenteeism to warrant such a move.

"I think it's important to recognize this is not a 'no' forever," said John Mannes, the board's student member.

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