Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he is “miffed” that New York City public schools changed Columbus Day to “Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day” without his approval.
“I’m as miffed as you are,” de Blasio told a reporter during his Thursday briefing.
On Tuesday, the city’s Department of Education (DOE) quietly released its school calendar, and Oct. 11 was marked a day off school not for Christopher Columbus, but for indigenous peoples. The calendar drew backlash from the city’s Italian American leaders who take pride in Columbus; it was taken offline Tuesday evening.
When it was reposted, the holiday had been changed to “Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day.” Students and staff were also given a day off on June 20 to celebrate Juneteenth, which is on June 19 but falls on a Sunday this year.
“I think this process wasn’t handled right. I certainly didn’t hear about the change, nor did the chancellor. So we spoke about it and we both agreed this was not the right way to handle things,” the Democratic mayor said in a briefing a day earlier.
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“The fact that a calendar naming didn’t come to her attention or my attention on one hand doesn’t surprise me, but it was not the right thing to do,” he conti
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