Green Hope Students on Indigenous Peoples’ / Columbus Day Controversy.


Wikimedia Commons

Explorer Christopher Columbus pictured to represent the highly debated holiday.

Shea McIntyre, Student Life Editor

Columbus Day also known as Indigenous Peoples Day is every second Monday of October. A highly controversial federal holiday that “commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus arriving in 1492.” For many years, the holiday has been debated on whether we should celebrate Columbus for his finding of the New World or if we should boycott the day in respect to indigenous people. Although school isn’t in its normal in-person class, every second Monday of October, the debate of whether public school districts namely Wake County should have school or not is put in the limelight.

The GH Falcon, in honor of the holiday (that we as a county attend school for) decided to get our students’ opinions on the day and whether school should be on or not. As more students respond with their pensive perspectives on the chaotic holiday and whether school should be in-session, we’ll update this article to enlighten readers on how GH Falcons stay enlightened on current events. 

Not only should we have school off on indigenous peoples day, we should push for people to call it indigenous peoples day, since they don’t have any other day to remember them while a man who was even considered a monster by the Spanish Inquisition still gets commemorated for dooming millions of innocent people to their deaths. October 12th should only be indigenous peoples day with no thought of Columbus at all. Just bringing him up makes Americans everywhere think imperialism and colonialism is okay as long as the 15 natives who weren’t enslaved or butchered get to live in “civilization” or a society where people feel tired, useless, and where every 40 seconds a person commits suicide. This is okay because the rich pigs who caused it get more money. Even mentioning Columbus in school is proof that racism is still prevalent in our institutions, since he is martyred for making it so that white Europeans control the world. He is the reason slavery was a thing here, he is the reason prison slavery is still a thing here, he is the reason millions of natives died (and in places like Canada go “missing” still) or were enslaved or indoctrinated into western culture by force. He is the reason imperialism and genocides took place across the whole world. Look at Tasmania Australia, where not a single aboriginal is still alive there, since they were butchered, or the Congo, where African slaves had their hands removed for not working, and you can see so many more places.”

— Ron Gibbons ’22


Columbus has such a long history of villainous things, such as kidnapping a carib woman and giving her to a crew member to rape, that I feel disgusted we celebrate him with the same amount of respect and days off as Martin Luther King Jr. I definitely don’t think we should have the school day off if it’s correlated to celebrating him- rather switch  it out for someone that is morally right.”

— Ellie Hamashima ’22

I think it would be cool if we had no school. And I don’t see anything wrong with celebrating it [Columbus Day]. It’s to honor his achievements and celebrate him, it’s not as big here (in NC) but in other places it is. And I know he’s done some pretty big things bad or good- but I think it could be cool to have the day off. ”

— Asish Jagarlamudi ‘22

Cancel it. [Columbus Day]”

— Maggie Bowersox ’22

It [Indigenous Peoples Day] should be celebrated! I don’t think school should be off because teachers already have a crammed schedule on the semester system. However, we should all partake in a moment of silence and expand our American History classes. Too often America ignores the abysmal conditions the native population endures. America furthers appalling reservation resources along with limited indigenous centered schooling. By raising awareness on long-lasting issues throughout public education, the indigenous treatment can be improved by a more knowledgeable and compassionate generation. By having an educational day, on Indigenous People’s Day, WCPSS can make sure students are engaged and reflecting on this important day. ”

— Michael Sanda ’23

I honestly don’t have a problem with having the day off. I just think we shouldn’t recognize or glorify Columbus as he was a bad, evil person. On the other hand, we should recognize and highlight indigenous people because they make up the diversity in our country, especially our community. I think we should have it off because again, our school’s are filled with many indigenous people!”

— Reem Fayyad ’22

Yes, I think it should be cuz maybe without him America would be completely different.”

— Gitansh Sharma ’22

I do not believe that Columbus Day should be celebrated. Columbus enslaved indigenous people and forced them from their homes, and taking a day off from school or having parades on this day glorifies his horrific actions. I believe that renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples day honors natives and their culture, which reached near-extinction because of Columbus. Indigenous peoples day would allow this group to regain the power and respect that was robbed from them because of Christopher Columbus.”

— Anah Ghafoor ’22

Honestly, this is a very tricky question. [in regard to whether Indigenous Peoples’ / Columbus Day should be celebrated] When you think about Columbus Day, you’re reminded of Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” or “invasion” of the Americas. Now when I hear Indigenous People’s Day-I think of a day that honors the Native Americans here before us. I don’t think that school should be taken off for this day, but I do feel that teachers should incorporate some type of 10 minute instruction, day of, with the class to inform them on the history and background of this holiday.”

I think that the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the America’s, although an important part of US history, should not be glorified as the impacts of colonization on Native Americans were incredibly suboptimal.”

1. Holidays should be days universally (or nearly universally) recognized as based on and/or commemorating good morals; they should not be created for economic, political, social, etc strides 2. Columbus day was not only NOT based on good morals, but it is also not recognized as universally moral, therefore it is not worthy of being called a holiday It caused important economic and political strides in the new world which is why it is important to remember, but again, holidays should promote moral principles, not economic or political expansion I don’t think it should be a day off bc it shouldn’t be a holiday (although obviously it would be nice to have an extra day off I don’t think that’s a logical play.)”

— Isaac Lund ‘23

Columbus is an ***** (explicit/inappropriate language)”

— Ameena Farooqui ’21

*keep in mind: she had many thoughts regarding the holiday, just too explicit to share!*


And whether or not you agree with fellow Falcons on the important matter, remember it’s worth sharing your beliefs to better education, conversation, and innovation. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and acknowledging these differing standpoints allows for overall betterment. 

If you have a viewpoint on the matter and are willing to share, contact us @TheGHFalcon.

*We are a website for students, by students after all!