SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A discussion about replacing a national holiday on school calendars was brought up at a community engagement forum Monday.
A growing number of school districts nationwide, including many in Syracuse, are looking into a resolution that was proposed last fall to change "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous Peoples Day."
The stated purpose of the change is to combat prejudice and promote good relations.
Some believe "Columbus Day" celebrates an inaccurate portrayal of history. Supporters are asking for a new way to celebrate Italian heritage.
"Unfortunately, what we've taught our children for many, many decades is mythology that Columbus discovered America and that does a grave injustice to the millions of people who lived here when he got lost on his way to India and stumbled upon the Americas,” said Andy Mager, a Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation member.
"If they're just saying that Columbus was a villain and therefore we shouldn't respect him or therefore we shouldn't use his name, it's like for me, take out my heart, might as well,” said Albert Petragnani, an Italian American Athletic Club member.
Currently, the two holidays share a day on the school district's calendar.