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New Jersey School Board Removes Names of All Holidays on School Calendar to Be Inclusive

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Christopher Columbus (Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wikimedia)

The Board of Education in Randolph, N.J. voted unanimously on Thursday to remove the names of all holidays from the school calendar in favor of a neutral “Day Off” title.

The decision came in response to the backlash the board faced after changing the name of the Columbus Day holiday on the school calendar at a meeting last month. The initial name change led to phone calls and emails to board members, according to TAPinto.

On Thursday, a motion was made to remove the names of all holidays that mention ethnic or religious groups, as to not exclude or offend any other group.

However, the board then decided to vote on removing all holiday names, including Memorial Day, in favor of calling them “Day Off” as some groups are still “left out” of the existing holidays.

The crowd grew outraged after the vote. Some in attendance yelled, “What just happened? What did you just do?”

The decision comes as a number of schools nationwide have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, including New York City public schools, which is the largest school district in the U.S.

Protestors have torn down and vandalized statues of Christopher Columbus, an Italian Renaissance-era explorer often credited with being the first European to discover the Americas. A growing number of critics have called for Columbus Day to be eliminated or renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day, upset at the celebration of what they see as Columbus’s subjugation and mistreatment of the New World’s native population.

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