Cancel Culture: erasure of holiday names to avoid offence

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(Photo: V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

A school district decides to strike the names of holidays in school calendars – using the expression “day off” instead – in order to not hurt anyone’s sensitivities. Parents are outraged that their children are denied learning about their own holidays.

In a New Jersey school district, Columbus Day had been renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day a few weeks ago. In response to the backlash, the local Board of Education has decided to remove the names of all holidays from school calendars and designate them as “days off”.

“If we don’t have anything on the calendar, we don’t have to have anyone with hurt feelings or anything like that,” board member Dorene Roche said.

The members of the board came to their decision in order to avoid offending anyone who belongs to a religious or ethnic group that does not celebrate the given holiday or who may experience negative feelings about it.

The Board of Education voted unanimously to remove the names of all holidays from the school calendars and plans to label each of them “day off”.

Several Italian-American organisations, including the Knights of Columbus spoke out against the decision.

At an earlier board meeting open to the public, many people called for keeping the original names of all holidays arguing that

changing them would be a falsification of history.

One attendee added that Indigenous people weren’t the only group suffering discrimination and that, for instance, Italian-Americans had also been severely oppressed and attacked by authorities during the Second World War. At one point a speaker opposing the holiday name-altering from Columbus to Indigenous asked all those in the room who agree with her to stand up. Nearly all participants stood up, expressing their disagreement with the board’s decision.

The school directors had not consulted the parents about this latest decision to use “day off” for all holidays. The meeting was held behind closed doors to avoid a similar public reaction.

The new ruling, however, caused outrage among local residents who are against their children being denied learning about their holidays.

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