A city high school student is hoping to persuade the Board of Education to adopt two of the most sacred Muslim holy days as public school holidays, a request that school officials have rebuffed twice in recent years, but that has gained traction throughout North Jersey and beyond.

Unlike in previous attempts, Kaity Assaf, 17, a senior at the high school, has made her own campaign out of the issue and has attracted a legion of supporters. She showed up to a board meeting earlier this month to make her case, supported by petitions bearing 500 signatures of classmates and dozens more from teachers and family members.

In a Christmas Eve interview on Thursday, Assaf said the holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, deserve the same recognition as major Christian and Jewish holidays, so that Muslim students don't have to worry about missing tests or make-up assignments and Muslim teachers and staff don't have to end up working instead of celebrating.

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