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Feb 8, 2017 4:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School Board Approves 'Culturally Sensitive' Calendar For 2017-18 School Year

Southampton School Board Member Andy Brindle. BY GREG WEHNER
Feb 14, 2017 2:27 PM

A “culturally sensitive” calendar for the 2017-18 school year was approved by the Southampton School Board last week—one that continues to purposely omit identifying religious holidays by their proper names.

The more anticipated topic of Columbus Day, and whether board members should consider renaming the holiday as “Indigenous Day” at the request of certain students and members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, was not broached during the brief discussion at the board’s last meeting, held on Tuesday, February 7.

But when the discussion turned to the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which originally was still identified by its name in next year’s unofficial school calendar, School Board member James McKenna questioned why other religious holidays were not identified in the same manner—Christmas, for instance, was listed as part of “winter recess.” Other religious holidays are noted in the current year’s school calendar simply as “no school.”

Mr. McKenna, who was elected to the board in 2016, pointed out that the new calendar failed to mention that both Good Friday and the start of Passover occur on the same day, March 30, 2018. He also asked his fellow board members if it was okay to approve a calendar that omits other religious holidays but still mentions Rosh Hashanah by name. It was unclear why Rosh Hashanah was added to the original version of next year’s calendar.

Board member Andy Brindle also questioned the original calendar, pointing out that he thought the idea moving forward was to be as “culturally sensitive” as possible.

The four other board members in attendance agreed with Mr. McKenna and Mr. Brindle, ultimately deciding to identify Rosh Hashanah as “no school,” just like the other religious holidays, before voting to approve the academic calendar. Board member Heather McCallion did not attend the meeting.

The current year’s school calendar does not identify any holidays, religious or otherwise, by their proper name. But next year’s adopted calendar identifies some non-religious holidays, like Labor Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Thanksgiving recess, by their official names.

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Rosh Hashanah isn't the only religion remaining. They are still teaching the religion of man made climate change and white guilt.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 5:29 PM
Rosh Hashanah isn't a religion.
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 5:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
Obviously. Typo. More profound is that your reply reflects agreement that both climate change and white guilt are.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 6:13 AM
Perhaps more weasel than troll.

Feb 9, 17 6:16 AM appended by Mr. Z
In other news, in what is absolutely, positively not in any way, shape or form any sort of judgment from an angry god, tornadoes and storms are blasting the bible belt to rubble
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 9, 17 6:16 AM
Shoo fly.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 6:56 AM
How is it a typo? Anyway, no, my reply doesn't reflect that I believe both climate change and white guilt are religions. I chose not to address that because it's just an absurd statement from someone who's clearly trying to troll.

By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 7:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
Complete nonsense. First, no recognition of valedictorians or salutatorians a few years back...now no public acknowledgment of religious holidays. What next? What lessons are these types of decisions teaching the children in this district? That hiding or not talking about differences makes them go away? That differences are wrong or don't exist? It seems like teaching opportunities are being missed here. Very sad.

By wmh (8), WaterMill on Feb 8, 17 6:51 PM
4 members liked this comment
Do they still instruct regarding the separation of Church and State?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 9, 17 6:11 AM
Now they just need to get rid of the teachers indoctrinating the students that Obama was a saint and Trump is the devil. The union controls the propaganda in the classrooms.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Feb 8, 17 7:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
By Resident of Southampton (1), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 7:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ok. Great, now we can cross that hot button topic off the list. Now, how about that pesky thing about student success? We can always go back to that one, I suppose
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 7:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
What a complete joke this is. If you voted for trump or not this is absurd.
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Feb 8, 17 8:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Adopting a "culturally sensitive" calendar is very sad indeed. Another step toward the progressive dystopia that so many seem to want. There are so many special interest agendas pulling this fractured nation apart that "One Nation under God" seems so very far away from where we are now. Message to the kids: just cave to any special interest no matter how ridiculous.

By basic1 (12), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 9:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
That "One Nation under God" was a creation of 1950's McCarthyism, if you really want to talk about "pulling this fractured nation apart," and has nothing to do with the founding of our country or the principles upon which it was founded. The only mention of religion in the Constitution is that it shall have no part in our government.

How's that for a special interest?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Feb 8, 17 9:47 PM
"A sense of proportion should also guide those who police the boundaries between church and state. Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation -- context matters. It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase 'under God.' I didn't." A quote from former President Obama. Surprised? This calendar question isn't about the pledge, but reasonable people on both sides can see the value ...more
By basic1 (12), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 10:04 PM
Do you know what a clinical psychotic delusion is?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 9, 17 6:14 AM
So glad my kids don't attend this disgraceful school system.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 10:13 PM
So glad my kids don't attend this disgraceful school system.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Feb 8, 17 10:15 PM
Vote and get rid of these BUTTERCUPS. Your children are being educated by these liberal teachers, being hires by liberal super, principal and board. Unions aren't your problem teachers are...
Go to the meetings and demand...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 2:16 AM
Noting religious holidays on a school calendar is irrelevant, as long as ALL of them are or NONE of them are. On the other hand, CLOSING SCHOOL for a religious observance that has no secular correlative violates the 1st amendment.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 9, 17 4:02 AM
Actually all they did was remove references to Christianity.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Feb 9, 17 9:00 AM
You clearly didn't read the article since they specifically said they also removed reference to Rosh Hashanah.
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 9:13 AM
Four (4) half-days for *staff development*?
Why can't they develop their staff in the summer? Before school starts?
By deepchanel (89), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 11:56 AM
My college schedules never had the names of holidays on them. Just "no school." This was 20 years ago. Nobody made any kind of fuss about it. Why is it such a big deal now? I can't relate on an elementary school level as I went to catholic school and we had about 87 religious holidays written on our calendars.

But they can all say "no school" as far as I'm concerned. It's a school calendar, not your home calendar or a church calendar. Nobody looks at it for any other reason but to see ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Feb 9, 17 11:59 AM
3 members liked this comment
Yep, this ^^^^^.
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 12:13 PM
I don't know, giving a day off without the recognition of why that day is off serves no purpose. When I am off for Veteran's Day, I make sure to remember why I am off.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 14, 17 2:29 PM
Political correctness is a cancer.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Feb 9, 17 12:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Absurd is the nicest way to describe the sheer and utter stupidity of Southampton's politically correct action. What's next, burning books they don't like? Maybe a couple of sieg hiels while they try to re-write history, culture and religion?
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Feb 9, 17 12:24 PM
you ding dongs would tear your hair out if we kept religious holidays on the calendar... this comments section would be epic underneath and article that mentions Ramadan being added to the list of days off.

Make up your minds dummies
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Feb 9, 17 12:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
But is it gluten free??
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 1:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is insulting to my Italian friends. Columbus is a great hero in the Italian culture. What about the Year of the Rooster????
By unclemilt (57), southampton on Feb 9, 17 2:56 PM
So sad for me to read the comments above but especially the dig about quality of education. I know that quite a lot (not all) of the new rules come down from the State BOD. But this school used to have a #1 quality rating. I remember when college bound students did not have to worry about getting admitted to the college or university of their choice..the hard part was choosing which one!
The problem seems to have begun when 'they' passed NO Child Left Behind.
By summertimegal (97), southampton on Feb 9, 17 4:05 PM
I have already ordered my "Wishing you a Merry Winter Recess" cards for next year.

By elliot (254), sag harbor on Feb 9, 17 5:00 PM
Christopher Columbus was a HERO and should be celebrated as such.
By Jimmy MacDoogan (43), Flanders on Feb 9, 17 8:20 PM
This school has gone mad. Culturally sensitive? Are we teaching our kids that mentioning a holiday is insensitive? It's not culturally insensitive to close schools on Columbus Day, but it is culturally insensitive for the school to mention it. You've got to be kidding Southampton School Board! How about you all worry more about how to improve lousy test scores and inflated grades, and less about social indoctrination. SMH.
By hamptons2009 (12), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 9:44 PM
2 members liked this comment
Maybe a day for the teachers, play dough, pizza and counseling...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 11:16 PM
In a multi-cultural society with separation of church and state a bedrock principle, it is entirely appropriate to have a completely secular approach to school closings. As was correctly pointed out, many on this thread would howl if a public school calendar noted days off for Ramadan.
And for those emotionally attached to Columbus Day, it is long past time to learn the truth about Christopher Columbus and to shed the myth of him as a "hero", and to recognize that the Natives were ...more
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Feb 10, 17 12:40 PM
Bug - When you cut and paste, just hit "paste" once,
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Feb 12, 17 5:33 PM
This is a comments section. Not a cut and paste paste paste liberal agenda section.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Feb 13, 17 7:10 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Feb 13, 17 8:58 AM
Says someone who hasn't gotten past coloring books and who doesn't even know the meaning of the word "context".
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Feb 14, 17 11:16 AM
Note that it is the left name calling.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 14, 17 2:33 PM
Some of my best friends are Catholic
By smacw (240), New York on Feb 19, 17 10:48 AM
More screeching from the lunatic left YAAAAAWN
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Feb 10, 17 2:12 PM
The forced homogenization of our country continues. No respect by the few for the many. Cultural envy focused upon denying us of our traditions that give us joy. Our happiness does not deprive you of anything. "Sour milk"
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Feb 13, 17 7:07 AM
Couldn't we find a mass-murderer to honor with less baggage than Columbus?

How about Mussolini? He's Italian, just like Columbus; he's just as entitled as is Columbus to be called the "Discoverer of America"; and, unlike Columbus, none of the people that he set out to kill were from around here. (Moreover, the ones that he DID set out to kill were either Muslims [Libya] or blacks [Ethiopia], two groups that occupy a higher position on the Right-Wing "Rank-Order-List-Of-People-Whom-We-Don't-Mind-Killing-So-Much" ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 14, 17 9:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
You have a sick sense of humor.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Feb 20, 17 3:07 AM
What next, President's Day, some of you don't like Our President. April Fools day [a lot of fools around]. Easter, don't go there. Mother's Day, I wouldn't touch that. Memorial Day, some people appreciate what was done for them. Independence Day, a good one. what can you call this?
Halloween? Can't mess with that, too much free candy. Election Day, that's up for discussion by some people. Veteran's Day, some people don't think it should be celebrated. Thanksgiving Day, I'll let you mull that ...more
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Feb 20, 17 9:43 AM