Sample Letter for Student regarding Sabbath Testing
City, State, Zip Code
RE: (NAME OF MEMBER)
Dear (PERSON’S NAME):
I am a member in good standing and in regular attendance at the (YOUR CHURCH NAME) Seventh-day Adventist church. Along with millions of other Seventh-day Adventists around the world, I observe the seventh day of the week (Saturday) as my Sabbath according to the teachings of the Old and New Testaments.
I believe that it is a violation of my religious beliefs to participate in [classes/tests] on the Sabbath. I am unable to perform secular activities, employment or otherwise, during the 24-hour period from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Secular activities—shopping, sports, employment, and other entertainment—are laid aside. The Sabbath is sacred to me and I devote these hours to God. Accordingly, I am writing to request that an alternative date be found so that I can fully participate in my academic program, without discrimination.
No doubt, your institution is fully committed to the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and wants to insure that all students can succeed without having to forego their religious faith as a condition of maintaining their academic standing. The institution already provides a religious accommodation for the majoritarian religious practice of observing Sunday as a rest day by refraining from scheduling tests on Sundays. It remains to provide alternative test dates for those minority students who observe Saturday as a religious day.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the equal protection of the laws. Your institutional policies concerning non-discrimination are based on this legal requirement of equality. Depriving a student of equal educational opportunity on account of their religious observance would violate both your own policies and the student’s constitutional right.
I am requesting an alternate date to the (SPECIFY TEST) to be given on (DATE TEST IS SCHEDULED) in order to honor my deeply held religious convictions.
Thank you so much for your cooperation in helping me schedule an alternate test day.
Xc: Alan J. Reinach, Esq., President, Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council
(PASTOR’S NAME AND CHURCH)