Randolph NJ BOE, Reinstate Columbus Day! Support Italian-American Civil Rights & History

Randolph NJ BOE, Reinstate Columbus Day! Support Italian-American Civil Rights & History

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Franco Piarulli started this petition to Randolph Township NJ Board of Education

On May 13, 2021, the Randolph Township Board of Education (BOE) proposed and voted to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.  The way in which the BOE passed the resolution was unacceptable and nefarious. It was not on the agenda. There was no public discussion.  The diverse community of 25,000 Randolph Residents had no say in the matter.  We Randolph’s taxpayers, parents of Randolph’s students, and Randolph's Italian Americans had no say whatsoever.

The stated mission of the Randolph Diversity INCLUSION Steering Committee (DISC) is “to work toward the goal of eliminating acts of bias based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity in Randolph by understanding the causes and identifying solutions…" It is ironic however that it is now being used it for EXCLUSION of Italian Americans and an important part of our history as a country.

1. We should absolutely celebrate Indigenous People, but let's do so without dividing and and pitting one group against another.  Indigenous People already have August 9, the Day After Thanksgiving and the entire month of November. Let's celebrate on the days and month already dedicated to them, and not dilute the American Holiday of Columbus Day.  The idea to remove or even share the day is an insult to generations of Italian Americans that revere Columbus Day as the atonement and apology for the discrimination and denigration that Italian-American ancestors suffered, for the lynching’s and the denigration of Italian-American people.

2. We call on the Randolph BOE to directly reject false narratives about Columbus being taught in our classrooms.  Somehow in our schools Columbus is the only person in history who is removed from his own historical context.  Reputable primary sources show Columbus not responsible for all claimed.  We ask that the BOE explore these sources and include in the Randolph Schools curricula. 

3. The BOE motion may be a violation of Italian American Civil Rights, and the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. We are calling on the BOE to stop violating Italian American civil rights, and we ask Italian Americans to be treated equally.

4. We demand that Randolph Schools restore the 2nd Monday each October permanently to Columbus Day and call a special Board of Education meeting for no later than June 1, 2021 to rescind their vote on the Columbus Day name.   

We invite all concerned citizens to join the next Randolph BOE meeting on June 10, 2021 at 6.30pm to share your comments and questions on this issue.  It is scheduled to be held on-line, but we would like the BOE to open it up to be an in-person meeting.  

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