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Tags: columbus | holiday | school | calendar | education

'Day Off': NJ School District Ditches Holiday Names on Calendar

'Day Off': NJ School District Ditches Holiday Names on Calendar
(David Wood/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 11 June 2021 09:36 PM

From now on all school holidays will simply be ''Day Off'' in a Morris County, New Jersey district.

The Randolph Township School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday night to remove all identifying holiday names from the school calendar so no one would be offended or upset.

Instead, the calendar will simply list the holiday as ''Day Off,'' the New York Post reported Friday.

At its May meeting, the board decided to remove Columbus Day from the calendar as some other districts — like New York City — have done in favor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, to highlight how settlers to the New World badly treated Native Americans.

According to the local online news site TAP into Randolph, as many as 125 people attended the June 10 meeting, most wanting Columbus Day to remain.

Only three people spoke out in support of the change, but the vast majority — including members of Italian American organizations of UNICO and the Knights of Columbus — disagreed with the change, and made the case that the day represents a celebration of Italian heritage.

According to the news site, the discussion was deeply passionate, and some audience members ended up with security asking them to leave, which they did.

A small group of attendees walked out on their own during the meeting.

In the end, the board decided to remove the names of all holidays, changing them to ''Day Off'' so that no group would be left out or offended.

The new policy also changes holidays such as teacher conference days and Memorial Day, according to the Post.

Many in the audience expressed shock at the quickness the board changed its policy with the unanimous vote.

The Post reported that the changes had not yet been made to the district’s calendar as of Friday.

New York City faced a similar pushback when it changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day, according to the Post story.

According to a history of the holiday published by NPR in 2013, Italians were part of America from the beginning, but did not start immigrating in large numbers until the 1820s, with the largest influx coming between 1880 and 1914.

In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison made the first call for a national holiday celebrating Columbus’ arrival, linking the explorer’s accomplishment with patriotism.

"On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life," Harrison’s proclamation said.

Colorado was the first state in the union that officially celebrated the holiday in 1906, according to the NPR story.

It took until 1934 for the country to celebrate the holiday under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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From now on all school holidays will simply be ''Day Off'' in a Morris County, New Jersey district. The Randolph Township School District's Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday night to remove all identifying holiday names from the school calendar so no one would be...
columbus, holiday, school, calendar, education
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2021-36-11
Friday, 11 June 2021 09:36 PM
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