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New Jersey school board reverses decision to strip calendar of holiday names

A New Jersey school board has been forced to reverse a controversial decision to remove all holiday names – including Memorial Day and Thanksgiving – from their calendar after facing huge backlash.

The Randolph Board of Education on Monday night voted 8-1 to overturn the decision made earlier this month to replace the names of all holidays with just the phrase ‘day off’. 

The initial unanimous decision to remove the names of holidays was made to avoid ‘hurt feelings’, officials had said at the time.

But the decision was blasted as ‘arrogant and incompetent’, and and sparked calls for the resignations of the school board members and Superintendent Jen Fano. 

A petition calling for the resignations received more than 4,500 signatures.  

The Randolph Board of Education on Monday night voted 8-1 to overturn the decision made earlier this month to replace the names of all holidays with just the phrase ‘day off’. Pictured above is the school calendar after they initially voted to remove all holiday names

The initial unanimous decision to remove the names of holidays caused outrage and sparked calls for the resignations of the 'arrogant and incompetent' Randolph school board members

The initial unanimous decision to remove the names of holidays caused outrage and sparked calls for the resignations of the ‘arrogant and incompetent’ Randolph school board members

None of the board members have resigned. 

Critics had accused the board of bowing to cancel culture and being ‘woke’. 

And parent Michael Viespoli claimed that those who complained about the decision during the initial meeting were branded ‘right-wing fanatics’ by one board member.

He told Fox: ‘I’m concerned about the tone and tenor of what’s going on in town and really in the world.’

On Monday the school board backed down, with president Tammy MacKay saying: ‘The buck stops here with those of us seated in front of you and we own it. 

‘Neither the superintendent nor any other administrator, principal, teacher or other district employee had anything to do with those votes or decisions. To cast blame on any of them for what this board did is quite simply wrong.’

In a statement on the school district’s website, the board said it was grateful for the community’s feedback.  

‘After a reconsideration, the school calendar returns to its prior form, adding ALL state and Federal holidays,’ the board said in a statement. 

‘The last few weeks have showcased a concerned community, an interested public and a responsive Board of Education that acknowledged a decision made without proper consideration. 

‘In the future, a review committee will seek community input on any proposed calendar changes.’ 

A petition calling for the resignations received more than 4,500 signatures. Tom Tatem (above), the father-of-four who started the petition, told Fox & Friends on Tuesday that the reversal should be a lesson in transparency

A petition calling for the resignations received more than 4,500 signatures. Tom Tatem (above), the father-of-four who started the petition, told Fox & Friends on Tuesday that the reversal should be a lesson in transparency

The petition calling for the resignations received more than 4,500 signatures. None of the board members have resigned

The petition calling for the resignations received more than 4,500 signatures. None of the board members have resigned

Tom Tatem, the father-of-four who started the petition, told Fox & Friends that the reversal should be a lesson in transparency.

‘They got the message… They reversed course on their decision, which is very much appreciated,’ Tatem said. 

He added, however, that he was surprised no one did resign. 

‘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,’ Tatem said. 

The controversy first started when the board voted back in May to refer to Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day.

Following complaints from Italian Americans, the board then voted to label all holidays, including religious ones, generically. 

At the time, the board said the decision was made to mitigate any potential offense a group or person may feel in regard to holidays that celebrate certain historical figures or ethnic groups.

‘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 said of the initial change.  

The controversy first started when the board voted back in May to refer to Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. Following complaints from Italian Americans, the board then voted to label all holidays, including religious ones, generically

The controversy first started when the board voted back in May to refer to Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. Following complaints from Italian Americans, the board then voted to label all holidays, including religious ones, generically


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