RANDOLPH, NJ – A New Jersey school district’s decision to drop the names of religious and national holidays in an effort to not offend some, has offended many…pretty much the entire country today. The story about the district has now gone viral.
The Randolph School District Board of Education has made a controversial decision to remove the names of many holidays from the school calendar and renaming others. Now, parents are calling for the resignation of the superintendent and the school board members.
“Jen Fano and all of the Board of Education Members have disgraced our community and clearly do not have the best interests of our children in anything they do,” said Thomas Tatem, who is calling for the resignations. “They represent everything that is wrong in education today and are completely incompetent in every aspect of their role.”
“In partnership with the Randolph Township School district, the Board of Education has always been committed to supporting diversity and inclusion amongst our students, staff, and community,” the district said in a statement. “We believe an effective partnership can only be accomplished between the schools and the community through collective input from all stakeholders. Involvement and communication with our constituents help us guide policy decisions/changes and improve district protocols.”
A page listing the religious holidays has been removed from the district’s website. While most holidays have simply been removed by name, Columbus day has been renamed Indigenous People’s Day after, “Careful consideration of concerns introduced by both proponents of the change as well as those in opposition to the change.”
Now those days are simply identified as “days off”.
“We agreed unanimously that the change would be both inclusive and equitable,” the district said. “Although we have made these changes to the school district’s calendar, our decision to change the calendar titles will not impact the education of holidays as guided by the district’s curriculum.”
Thursday’s school board meeting was quite contentious as parents argued with the board members. Andre Dimino, Executive Board Member of Italian American One Voice gave the district thirty days to undo their vote. The group has launched lawsuits against other towns who violated the Italian heritage based Columbus Day.