More than 2,500 people have signed a petition calling for the Randolph board of education to resign days after the district voted to remove the names of holidays from the school calendar following a earlier debate about how to refer to Columbus Day.
“(Superintendent) Jen Fano and all of the Board of Education Members have disgraced our community and clearly do not have the best interests of our children in anything they do,” the online petition started late last week reads. “They represent everything that is wrong in education today and are completely incompetent in every aspect of their role.”
The Randolph public school calendar will no longer list any holiday by name. Instead, they’ll be labeled generically — just as a “Day Off,” with no description of the reason behind it. The decision led to a firestorm of criticism.
Randolph School District is located in Morris County, around 60 miles north of Trenton and around 40 miles northwest of New York City.
On Sunday, the board of education issued a statement saying the “large public outcry” regarding the removal of the holidays is because their intentions were misunderstood.
“Our actions are somehow being misconstrued by some to mean that the Randolph School District is no longer recognizing these holidays, teaching about them to our students and honoring the great veterans and the heroes for whom many of these holidays have been named,” the board of education said in remarks posed on the district’s website. “Nothing could be further from the truth. These state, federal and other holidays have not been cancelled or taken away by this board of education as some are falsely claiming. Schools will still be closed on the days that we originally approved and our children will know why. They will still continue to receive instruction in schools about these important historical events and the people behind them.”