Columbus Day struggle intensifies as NJ faculty board reverses course at contentious assembly


RANDOLPH, NJ – The Randolph Board of Education voted Monday to overturn two previous votes and restore – by name – the Columbus Day holiday on the district calendar.

But the rules of procedure included the board willingly indulging in insults and demands from indignant Randolph residents for more than three hours.

“I respectfully ask you to resign. Thank you, ”said a local resident at the meeting on Monday.

The outrage stems from the board’s original decision in May to rename Columbus Day holiday “Indigenous Peoples Day”.

Other communities across the country did the same as society reconsidered the legacy of Christopher Columbus – the Italian who for decades was referred to in the history books as the noble explorer of America.

But more recently, Columbus has been questioned and instead viewed as someone who enslaved and brutalized the indigenous peoples he encountered on his travels.

School board members have done themselves no favors with their critics than they have doubled and announced afterwards all holidays would lose their name and would simply be referred to as “days off”.

A resident who stood at the microphone and podium at the meeting said, “You committed the ultimate act of discrimination in pitting Italian Americans against Native Americans.”

At the meeting on Monday evening, the crowd called for the resignation of the board and the reintroduction of Columbus Day into the school calendar.

“I want you to stop the abandonment culture. I want us to make sure we don’t see the first steps of critical racial theory in our schools, which I see as child abuse, ”said Debbie Lissaur of Randolph, speaking of the highly controversial but often misunderstood academic concept that is becoming obsolete in America in his debate on racial and abandon culture.

Critical Racial Theory is a nearly 50 year old academic concept that states that racism is not just the result of individual bias, but something that is embedded in the very foundation of this country, its laws and policies.

Among the dozens and dozen of local residents who spoke, few actively voiced their support for the committee’s decision.

“Since education, acceptance and diversity are key, I see no reason why Columbus Day doesn’t become Columbus Day / Indigenous People’s Day,” said one speaker, drawing boos from the crowd. This proposal reflects what New York City public schools did with their calendar.

But for the overwhelming majority of Italian-American residents who spoke, Columbus Day was more than just a holiday to them; it is a point of cultural pride.

“Removing the traditional days from the school calendar is not only offensive, but sends the wrong message to our students,” said one resident. “It diminishes the meaning and distorts the story behind the specific events.”

Shut down

Suggest a correction