The Human Rights Commission of Ontario states, under its Policy on creed and the accommodation of religious observances, that “Under the Code, employers, unions, housing providers and service providers have a legal duty to accommodate people’s sincerely held creed beliefs and practices to the point of undue hardship, where these have been adversely affected by a requirement, rule or standard.” Based on this, each board of education in Ontario has an operating procedure and/or board policy that explicitly states how religious accommodations occur. Generally, students who require accommodations must speak with their teacher and/or school administrator. There may be a form that requires parental signature. As such, there is no reason why a person would not be granted the accommodation to pray during the school day, when necessary. 

So, where does the courage come from to make the request? First is the knowledge that you are within your legal rights in Canada to make the request, and the second is knowing that your teacher cannot deny the request. Third, remember that, as Muslims, we are accountable to our Creator in this life and on the Day of Resurrection – which means that when the time comes for prayer there cannot be any room for hesitation to fulfill our obligation. It is also important to remember the flexibility in time provided when it comes to prayer; the time for Dhuhr prayer is usually within a span of 2 to 2.5 hours, so we are encouraged to pray when it is least disruptive for our respective classes. If you are in need of support, consider asking your parent(s) to assist you in the conversation with your teacher and/or school administrator.