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The change in District 204’s calendar progresses towards recognizing diversity

October 11, 2021

Just this year, District 204 enacted a change in their district calendar in which they listed no school on Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Oct. 11. Conversations about the topic of whether or not it should be called one way or another have been sparked well in past history.

In a 2018 Chicago Tribune article, a community advocacy group called Indivisible Aurora pushed the city of Aurora to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. They highlighted points like, “Columbus Day celebrates ‘a cruel history of violence and subjugation.’” While that may be true, the history behind Christopher Columbus is continuously taught in the education curriculum. It is taught that he had discovered the Americas in 1492 and is this important figure in history. So, why the change?

Because diversity, representation, and respect matter. There are two sides to every story, in this historical event we see Christopher Columbus and the Indigenous people. Indigenous people were raped and invaded by the violence of Columbus, but Columbus also impacted and progressed history.

This choice in which District 204 made Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ on Oct. 11 exhibits that there are two sides to this annual United States celebration and how we should respect both. We do not condone the cruel and violent history but respect the people who were involved and pay homage to their place in history.

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