• Orange County schools mulls 'no sports on religious holidays' idea


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Eyewitness News has learned the Orange County School District is discussing a plan to keep students from playing games on religious holidays.

    WFTV's Nancy Alvarez reviewed the list of holidays and explains why the plan could cause serious confusion.

    It's a move that could have a major impact on every sport played in the district, but most parents haven't heard a thing about it, Alvarez said.

    Channel 9 found a calendar was sent to all athletic directors with an email announcing the district would no longer play athletic events on religious holidays. 

    The calendar lists Passover and Christmas, and Muslim holidays, including Ramadan, which lasts one month in the summer. It also includes Hannakuh, which could change when football playoffs are played.

    "You couldn't just pick and choose which religious holidays to observe. You have to do all or none don't you think?" said parent Lindsey Staton.

    Practices could also be impacted with some practices becoming optional if it falls on a religious holiday.

    Other school districts around the state, including Seminole County, already have similar policies in place.

    But Orange County's spokesperson was quick to point out this is not an official policy change voted on by the school board; It's a directive issued by the athletics department, and schools are not required to comply. 

    That left parents who plan their lives around sports confused. If changes are on the way, they said they want to know now.

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