NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York state lawmaker would like to see St. Patrick’s Day made into a school holiday.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, students and teachers currently have to play hooky if they want to go to the Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade each March 17. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) does not think that is right.

“Given the history of the Irish community in New York City, I think it’s a worthy thing to do, and I think they are entitled to have the day off,” Avella said.

Avella introduced a bill in the state senate after getting nowhere with schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

“At least, let’s sit down and talk about it. But she dismissed the idea out of hand,” Avella said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has defended the decision to keep St. Patrick’s Day off the school holiday list. He said the newer school holidays are primarily religious.