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NJ School Board Restores Holiday Names Amid Back Lash From Parents, Community Members

06-23-2021
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The Randolph Board of Education in New Jersey has reversed its decision to remove the names of holidays from the school calendar following a stormy meeting on Monday.

Earlier this month, the school board chose to amend the calendar by removing the names of all holidays and replacing them with "day off." The board voted 8-1 to reinstate the holiday names after parents and community members said they were shocked and insulted by the move.

"Stripping the traditional holidays on the school calendar is not only insulting, it sends the wrong message to our students. It lessens the meaning of the historical events," said resident Jack Murray.

A petition advocating for the resignation of school board members and Superintendent Jen Fano was also created which amassed more than 4,500 signatures as of Tuesday.

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Randolph resident and father of four, Tom Tatem created the petition because he believes board members "do not have the best interests of our children in anything they do."

"Truth be told, they've lost the trust of our community and I feel between a mixture of their arrogance and incompetence that they're not really the best people to proceed forward in helping to rebuild and help our community heal," he told Fox News.

Criticism started after the school board voted in May to reference Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. That led to complaints from Italian Americans so the board decided not to designate holidays by a specific name. 

"If we don't have anything on the calendar, we don't have to have anyone be hurt feelings or anything like that," said board member Dorene Roche.

New Jersey State Sen. Anthony Bucco even spoke out against renaming holidays and asked the board to reconsider the change.

Additionally, the board decided to bring the issue of holiday names up for a general vote in the next local election.

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