In reversal, New Jersey school board restores holiday names

June 22, 2021 GMT

RANDOLPH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey board of education reversed itself following a public outcry and has restored the names of holidays to its school calendar.

The Randolph school board on Monday night voted 8-1 to overturn a decision made earlier this month to replace the names of holidays with just the phrase “day off.” The panel also will create a committee to gain input from the public.

Criticism began when the school board voted in May to refer to Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. Following complaints from Italian Americans, the board then voted to label holidays generically.

Critics accused the board of bowing to so-called cancel culture.

An online petition called for Superintendent Jennifer Fano and members of the school board to resign.

The district issued a statement in which it said the actions were “misconstrued.”

“The buck stops here with those of us seated in front of you and we own it,” school board president Tammy MacKay said. “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.”