Religious Observances: Student Rights
Education Law Section 224-a, stating the rights and privileges of students unable to attend classes on certain days because of religious beliefs, appears below, as mandated by state law:
No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student for the reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirements on a particular day or days.
Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.
It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials to make available to each student who is absent from school because of religious beliefs an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or to make up any examination, study, or work requirements which he or she has missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
If registration, classes, examinations, study, or work requirements are held on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study, work requirements, or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study, or work requirements held on other days.
In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of that student’s use of the provisions of this section.
Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which the institution is located for the enforcement of rights under this section.