The petition was created by a user with the name Thomas Tatem on Friday and demands Randolph Township school board members and Superintendent Jen Fano to “resign immediately,” saying they “clearly do not have the best interests of our children in anything they do.”
The board voted to start listing holidays, including religious and national holidays such as Thanksgiving and Memorial Day as “day off” on the school calendar after receiving backlash for renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day.
“If we don’t have anything on the calendar, we don’t have to have anyone [with] hurt feelings or anything like that,” Dorene Roche, one of the board members, told Fox 5.
Board members did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News.
Randolph Township Schools Director of Communications and Digital Media, Matthew Pfouts, told Fox News that Superintendent Fano was not involved in the board’s vote.
“In partnership with the Randolph Township School district, the Board of Education has always been committed to supporting diversity and inclusion amongst our students, staff, and community,” Pfazo said in a statement. “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.”
He added that the vote to rename 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.”
The petition has garnered more than 200 signatures, though it is unclear whether signatories are residents of Randolph Township.
“We will not allow our beautiful town to be taken over by woke cancel culture,” one signatory, named Frank Tomasiello, commented on the petition posted to Change.org. “History exist[s] so we can learn from it… The good, the bad, and the ugly. And you have now become part of the ugly.”
Another signatory named Michael Guarnieri wrote that “as an Italian American losing Columbus Day was bad enough but as a Christian losing Easter [and] Christmas is even worse.”
“Also I’m [sic] a community with so many Jewish brothers and sisters losing their high holidays is a disgrace,” Guarnieri wrote.
A similar Change.org petition, created by a user named Franco Piarulli three weeks ago that has garnered more than 1,000 signatures, calls on the school board to celebrate both Colombus Day and Indigenous People’s Day on different dates.
“I am signing because the Board voted without allowing public comment,” signatory Robert Tarte commented. “Indigenous people[s] day is already recognized on August 9. I have no objection to celebrating Indigenous property day, but why take our holiday which has great meaning for Italian Americans.”
A number of school boards and locales across the United States have changed the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in an effort to commemorate Native Americans who lost their lives or livelihoods when the U.S. was colonized.