A petition drive is underway calling for members of the Randolph, New Jersey Board of Education, and Superintendent Jen Fano to resign after they dropped the names of holidays from the district's school calendar.
The petition says they "clearly do not have the best interests of our children in anything they do. They represent everything that is wrong in education today and are completely incompetent in every aspect of their role," according to Change.org. As of Monday, more than 2,500 residents of Randolph township had signed the request.
"We will not allow our beautiful town to be taken over by woke cancel culture," one signer of the petition wrote. "History exists so we can learn from it… The good, the bad, and the ugly. And you have now become part of the ugly."
Another signer wrote, "Randolph being the tip of this awful woke spear if discussing. As an Italian American losing Columbus Day was bad enough but as a Christian losing Easter / Christmas is even worse. Also I'm a community with so many Jewish brothers and sisters losing their high holidays is a disgrace."
"Cancel the cancel culture," wrote another signer.
Calls for local residents to sign the petition have also been posted to social media.
— Tim (@TimThomas13) June 12, 2021
The New York Post reports the school board unanimously voted Thursday to remove all holiday names from their academic calendar following an uproar over renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day.
So now Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Jewish holy days like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah will simply be called a "day off."
"If we don't have anything on the calendar, we don't have to have anyone be hurt feelings or anything like that," board member Dorene Roche told Fox 5.
One board member cautioned his fellow board members, advising a different approach.
"I don't think really it is the board's responsibility to be naming these holidays. Either take them off or just adopt whatever the federal and state governments are doing," board member Ronald Conti reportedly said before the vote.
Around 125 people attended the school board meeting on Thursday to object to the board's changing the name of the Columbus Day holiday last month, according to the local website Tap into Randolph. The website's report also described the meeting as "emotionally charged and chaotic" as several members of Italian American organizations, including UNICO and the Knights of Columbus, spoke out against the decision during the public comment section of the meeting.
New Jersey State Sen. Anthony Bucco also attended the meeting and spoke against the change, asking the board to reconsider and reverse its decision.
Several citizens also objected to the board's first vote to rename the holiday without any public notice.
Then came the unanimous vote to remove all holiday names from the school calendar. This prompted several members of the confused audience to yell, "What just happened - What did you just do?" at the board members.
By Saturday, the calendar posted to the district's website was posted with all of the names of the holidays removed.
Randolph Township School's Director of Communications and Digital Media Matthew Pfouts, told Fox News on Sunday that the removal of the holiday names from the calendar will not affect how the district will educate students about them.
"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," Pfouts 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."
He added that the vote to rename Columbus Day was made "after careful consideration of concerns introduced by both proponents of the change as well as those in opposition to the change."
"We agreed unanimously that the change would be both inclusive and equitable," he said.