Stamford School District Removes Columbus Day and Veterans Day from School Calendar 

Written by Marvi Pabrekar 

In a recent decision made by the Stamford Board of Education, Columbus Day and Veterans Day will no longer be days off for students. This motion was put forward by board member Joshua Esses and passed by a vote of 5-3. While it may seem like a controversial move, there are compelling reasons behind this decision.

Esses argued that the current school calendar, which extends into mid-June, is too long and not in the best interest of students’ education. By shortening the school year, students will have more concentrated learning time and can benefit academically.

 In addition, Esses believes that these holidays can still be observed within the curriculum. State law requires the educational content on Columbus Day and Veterans Day to be provided to students which will allow them to learn about and honor these holidays.

Furthermore, there has been a growing discussion about Columbus Day and its significance. The holiday has become controversial as many have reevaluated Christopher Columbus’ legacy and actions, particularly his treatment of indigenous populations. 

In response, Indigenous Peoples’ Day was established as an alternative holiday to honor Indigenous American populations and reject the celebration of Columbus. By removing Columbus Day from the school calendar, the district is acknowledging the need to reexamine historical figures.

Some board members have also expressed concerns about the curriculum’s portrayal of Columbus as a villain. They believe that this perspective should not be presented publicly. 

However, fostering critical thinking among students and providing them with a comprehensive understanding of historical figures is crucial. By presenting multiple perspectives and encouraging primary source research, students can develop their own informed opinions.

Not surprisingly, however, this decision comes with opposition. Local veterans and Italian-Americans have raised concerns about the removal of Veterans Day and Columbus Day from the calendar. Students also don’t seem to appreciate this new move since Columbus and Veterans Day gave them a chance to take a break from school, even if it was just for one day. 

“I honestly don’t feel so great about Columbus and Veterans Day getting removed, I mean it was a day for everyone to sit back and know what it was really about rather going to school and being taught anything about it,” said Nimra Mahmood (‘25)

“Having no school on Columbus Day and Veterans Day allows students to have a chance to engage in activities honoring veterans’ contributions and reflecting on the historical impacts of Columbus Day,” said Justyna Brzoska (‘26).

“I feel like those days shouldn’t be removed because they give students a short break to rest in the middle of stressful months,” said Parul Gupta (‘26). 

In conclusion, the decision to remove Columbus Day and Veterans Day from the school calendar in Stamford is based on educational considerations and a reevaluation of historical figures. This decision is met with resistance, especially from students, as days when they’re allowed to relax and learn more about these holidays are being taken off the schedule. 

One thing is for sure: by observing these holidays within the curriculum, the district can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for their significance.