Students Applaud Columbus Day Name-Change


Max Miracle, Editor in Chief

On July 23, 2020, in the midst of a national reckoning on racial justice, the Fairfax County School Board voted to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the official school schedule, with the motion to do so asserting that indigenous people have suffered “500 years of oppression and violence that began with European colonization.”

Many students are pleased with this change. “Columbus did plenty of awful things in his lifetime,” said Daniel Shutov (10). “The indigenous people should be what we’re celebrating since they’re our nations past.”

And some see it as part of a broader positive shift. “This is a change worth celebrating because it recognizes [indigenous peoples’] plight,” said Sophie Wilson-Quayle (12). “It signals a change for the better in our country’s values.”

Other students react with apathy. “I get school off,” said one 12th grader. “I don’t care what it’s called.”

But, for some, the change isn’t enough. “This isn’t where the recognition should stop,” said Basil Mustafa (12). “I believe that there should be continued efforts to help out a group of people who had a genocide committed against them.”