Marshall University Honors Pagan Holidays

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – A new policy at Marshall University will allow pagan students to miss classes to observe religious holidays or festivals.

While many colleges have policies to protect students of every belief, the university is the first in the country to protect pagan students from being penalized for missing classes to honor their faith.

Steve Hensley, dean of student affairs, said the new policy is an augmentation of the existing policy allowing non-pagan students and other religious groups to make up class work in observance of holiday.

Students are responsible for filing a written request with Hensley to establish their religious beliefs. It is also used to determine if the holiday being considered is significant to their religious convictions.

While university officials said that most students attending the school are not practicing pagans, sociology professor Marty Laubach says the policy permits pagans to become more vocal about their beliefs.

Britain, the birthplace for modern paganism, has not consented to students receiving time off for pagan holidays or festivals.

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