Posted on February 1, 2024

Outrage as Columbus Day, Veterans Day Scrapped From Holiday Schedule

Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek, January 30, 2024

A Connecticut school board has sparked outrage after voting to remove two federal holidays from the academic calendar.

Students will not have Columbus Day or Veterans Day off during the 2024-25 and 2025-25 school years after Tuesday’s 5-3 vote by the Stamford Board of Education, the Stamford Advocate reported. Both would still be recognized in educational content provided on those days, which is required under a state statute, according to the newspaper.


Board member Joshua Esses proposed the motion to take both holidays off the calendar. The proposed 181-day calendar lasted too long and that making it shorter would be “better educationally for our students,” Esses said, according to the Advocate.

“Every American owes gratitude to our wonderful Veterans and to Christopher Columbus,” Esses told Newsweek via email on Tuesday. “I believe students can best learn about their contributions in school. Otherwise, they have a vacation day without any focus on why we honor our Veterans and Columbus in the first place.”

Esses had also suggested eliminating Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic holiday, and the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, as days off. However, that effort received no support.

The move to remove the two federal holidays has sparked outrage in the community.