JERICHO – Teachers in the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District are discovering some confusion around the materials they received for their special October 14 holiday events. Some teachers were provided with new curriculum around the newly minted “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” while others say they had no communication regarding the change and had only outdated “Columbus Day” materials. Parents are now upset after the confused teachers decided to combine the two programs to try and make the best of it, holding a special assembly on “Indigenous Columbus.”
“I just don’t know what to make of it anymore,” said 4th grade teacher Anne Teek, who plans on retiring after this year. “I grew up being told that Columbus was the hero who discovered America. Then we learned he never really made it to the US at all, and other people got here first. Then they told us he wasn’t a hero after all, and now my kids are coming in telling me he raped children and tortured slaves. Not sure where we go from there. And then I get a packet saying he’s indigenous now?”
Teek points out a particularly confusing sentence in a memo that reads “We will now celebrate Christopher Columbus as Indigenous Peoples. Please make the necessary classroom adjustments.” Misunderstanding the directive, teachers put on a program that described Columbus as Native American, and related the harrowing voyage across the Atlantic by Spanish traders who discovered Columbus on the Ohio coast and mistook him for the Hindu god Kartikeya, leading to the first Thanksgiving.
Many parents were furious over the misinformation provided to their children and demanded an explanation, as well as a retraction. Some even called for the firing of the teachers.
“Look, I’ll tell the kids what you want me to tell them,” Teek said. “If you want me to tell them Columbus was a murdering psychopath, or that George Washington never had any wooden teeth, or women were priests in the early church, I’m happy to accommodate. I honestly don’t know what’s true anymore. It’s just hard to teach history when it changes every few years.”
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