NJ district removing holiday names not as crazy as it sounds (Opinion)
Oh no they di’n’t!
Outraged parents have started a petition calling for the entire school board and the superintendent of the Randolph School District to resign. Erin Vogt’s story on this explains in detail, but it all started over Columbus Day. The district changed Columbus Day to Indigenous People Day and still closes down with no classes. But many parents were indignant and felt it was a slap in the face of the Italian-American community.
That led to a fiery school board meeting where tempers flared and people shouted down school board members. Then the board apparently decided a good end to the matter would be to stop calling holidays by name altogether. Schools would still close, but nowhere on the calendar would it say Thanksgiving, or Yom Kippur, or Memorial Day, etc.. The calendar would only state DAY OFF.
People went berserk. The petition has thousands of signatures demanding resignations. Parents are feeling cancel culture and political correctness breathing down their necks.
But is it?
It should be stated for the district’s part they’re claiming the whole thing is being misunderstood. That even though the calendar would no longer list a specific holiday they were in no way not recognizing the holiday. They say the sacrifices of Memorial Day will still be taught in school. Elementary kids would still make pilgrim hats out of construction paper and talk about Thanksgiving. It just won’t be on the calendar.
I doubt that will stop the complaints. Now don’t get me wrong. I would not have made this same decision. However I see a different perspective than most. I don’t see this so much as political correctness but more as a harsh reaction to political correctness. I see the district as the parent who takes the toy entirely away from the siblings fighting over it.
One side wanted it called Columbus Day? The other demanded Indigenous People Day? Fine! NO ONE GETS TO PLAY WITH IT NOW!
Again I would not have done it, but if they’re sick of factions of parents fighting over politically correct naming or renaming of holidays this could have been their way of sending all the kiddies involved to their rooms without supper. If everyone is now unhappy at least they aren’t picking favorites. And maybe those fighting over what to call a thing have no one to blame but themselves.
Admittedly this is an unpopular take. I remember being a kid and Christmas recess and Easter recess. I would have zero problem with them still being called this. If we can have school give off for Rosh Hashana why can’t we say those other words? Yet I can understand a district wanting to wash its hands of the entire argument by punting. Here’s the day off. Do with it what you want. Teach your kids what you want. We aren’t even calling it anything.
And oh yeah, they did.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.