New Jersey school under fire by making calendar ‘political’

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A New Jersey parent has launched a petition demanding school board members resign “immediately” over their decision to remove holiday names from the academic calendar.

All holidays are now simply listed as “day off” on the calendar in the Randolph Township school district — following backlash the school board received for voting to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.

Tom Tatem, a father of four, blasted the change, claiming it shows the board members “clearly do not have the best interests of our children in anything they do.”

 “The overwhelming majority of the township population feels that they’ve grossly overstepped their bounds, that they’re completely pushing their own personal, political ideologies,” Tatem told “Fox & Friends” on Monday.

A portrait of Jen Fano.
Jen Fano is under fire as a key member in removing holiday names from her school district’s academic calendar.
randolph schools

The father said he was particularly troubled by the calendar no longer acknowledging holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day by name.

“It’s our nation. We’re celebrating the heritage and also the freedoms that those brave men and women fought for to give us those freedoms that we have to be on here debating this topic and everything, so I can’t imagine anyone who would have any sort of problem with that,” he said.

His petition on Change.org had garnered nearly 3,000 signatures by Monday afternoon.

Tatem called on school board members and Superintendent Jen Fano to “resign immediately.”

“They failed our students. They failed our parents, they failed our teachers. They failed our community,” Tatem said on Fox.

A spokesman for the school district said the board has “always been committed to supporting diversity and inclusion amongst our students, staff, and community.”

A screenshot of Tatem's petition on Change.org.
Tatem’s petition on Change.org had garnered nearly 3,000 signatures by Monday afternoon.
change.org

“We believe an effective partnership can only be accomplished between the schools and the community through collective input from all stakeholders. Involvement and communication with our constituents help us guide policy decisions/changes and improve district protocols,” district spokesman Matthew Pfouts told the outlet.

He pointed out that Fano was not involved in the board’s vote and said the change to Columbus Day was made “after careful consideration of concerns introduced by both proponents of the change as well as those in opposition to the change.”

“We agreed unanimously that the change would be both inclusive and equitable,” he said.

“Although we have made these changes to the school district’s calendar, our decision to change the calendar titles will not impact the education of holidays as guided by the district’s curriculum.”

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