NJ school district to get rid of holiday names, refer to them as ‘days off’ after Columbus Day rift

New Jersey
Columbus Circle statue in Manhattan, New York City

A statue of Christopher Columbus at Columbus Circle in Manhattan on June 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

RANDOLPH, N.J. — A New Jersey school district has decided to bypass the discussion over the celebration of Columbus Day, as well as all other holidays going forward.

The Randolph Township school district and board of education released a joint statement Friday saying that they will no longer celebrate particular holidays, merely referring to those days in which school is postponed as “days off.”

The controversy stems from a rift over changing the school’s Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous People’s Day. That change caused passionate arguments both in favor and against the decision.

“At our Board meeting on June 10, we listened to feedback from the public regarding a previous decision we had made to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day,” a spokesperson for the school district and board of education said. “After careful consideration of concerns introduced by both proponents of the change as well as those in opposition to the change, a motion was presented for consideration to stop using holiday titles on the district’s calendar. We agreed unanimously that the change would be both inclusive and equitable.”

The school district and board of education promise that this will not change how students are educated regarding the various holidays.

“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 statement continued. “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.”

PIX11 News’ Kristine Garcia contributed to this story.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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