A New Jersey board of education will not remove holiday names from the school calendar after a vote this week.
According to the Washington Examiner, the Randolph Board of Education initially voted to remove the holiday names from the calendar, but outcry from the public forced another vote on the issue. The school calendar would have stopped using holiday names, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and instead called the holidays a "day off."
The backlash also came from the initial plan to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
"It's not only insulting, but it sends the wrong message to our students ... We should be teaching our children the importance of these dates," one resident said during the public comment section of the meeting.
Said Andre Dimino, the Executive Board Member of the Italian American One Voice Coalition: "Because what that tells the students is that it's just a day off. It doesn't tell them what the background is."
This week, the board voted 8-1 to restore the holiday names to the school calendar. The meeting lasted nearly four hours, with some 50 local residents speaking to the board on the issue.
"The Randolph Board of Education is grateful to the community for its feedback regarding designating school holidays and days off," the board told PEOPLE in a statement. "After a reconsideration, the school calendar returns to its prior form, adding ALL state and federal holidays.
"The very essence of education is to learn, to grow and to apply lessons learned. The last few weeks have showcased a concerned community, an interested public and a responsive Board of Education that acknowledged a decision made without proper consideration," they continued. "In the future, a review committee will seek community input on any proposed calendar changes."
The second meeting also came after an online petition began calling for Superintendent Jennifer Fano and members of the board to resign. The petition had gathered thousands of signatures.
Photo courtesy: Eliza Diamond/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.