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Assemblyman Brian Bergen. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.)

Randolph school board backs off plan to stop using holiday names

Ciattarelli, GOP assemblyman slam bid to strip calendar of Thanksgiving, Christmas

By David Wildstein, June 22 2021 12:33 pm

The Randolph Board of Education has abandoned a plan to scrub the names of holidays from the school calendar after public officials and hundreds of residents objected to the injection of “cancel culture” into local schools.

The proposed calendar removed references to all holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, simply labeling them as days off instead.

Some of the most vociferous objections came from members of Randolph’s Italian American community who opposed the removal of Columbus Day from the calendar.

Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-Denville), who attended the Monday evening meeting, said he was disappointed by the failure of school board members to apologize to the community for a failed trial balloon.

“What I witnessed instead was an embarrassing display of delusions of grandeur by a few board members who have tainted the prestige of the position for all those who were there to witness it,” Bergen said.

Bergen, a West Point graduate who flew Army helicopters during combat missions in Iraq, blasted the school board for attempting to deflect criticism from the community by adding Veterans Day as an off-day for the upcoming school year.

“It was a disingenuous attempt to change the discussion and avoid culpability for their actions,” Bergen said.  “Our Veterans are not pawns in your political theater and should not be treated as such.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli also waded into the Randolph calendar issue, criticizing the local school board for the removal of holiday names.

“America is a melting pot and New Jersey is the most diverse state in the country. Those are good things,” Ciattarelli said on Twitter.  “We shouldn’t be running from that because someone may be offended.”

Some school board members are now facing a recall effort.

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