States and school districts around the country are making the move away from Columbus Day toward other commemorative events, and now Rockford schools will take a day off on Election Day instead.

If you were busy with other things in June (as most people were), you might not be aware that Governor Pritzker signed legislation on June 16th making Election Day an official state holiday. This year, that day falls on November 3rd.

The Rockford Public School board decided on Tuesday, by a 6-0 vote, to move the traditional day off (this year it would have been on October 12th) to Election Day.

As I mentioned, several states are replacing (or attempting to replace) Columbus Day with other titles. Just north of us in Wisconsin, they're going with Indigenous Peoples Day.

From what I've been hearing, board members say the move isn't politically based, but there will no doubt be many who argue that politics, especially at this point in 2020, had to have played a factor in the decision.

As a parent, my kids would roll their eyes at me when I told them that there shouldn't be a day off of school for Columbus Day, Presidents Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, etc. I've always thought that instead of skipping a day of school, students should spend that day learning about the people and/or events that are being commemorated.

I just think that it's strange that we'll say "This person or people did great and/or important things! Now go take the day off and we'll maybe talk about this later."

I also agree that Election Day should be a holiday (attempts at making it a national holiday have failed thus far), and it's good to see several states have already made that move. Let's hope that the intended purpose, to make it easier for people to get out and vote, becomes a reality.


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