School on Columbus Day: You’re Really Going to Argue a Day Off?

For the hard-working, active, and intelligent students of Staples High School, a break once in a while is nice. With tests, quizzes, essays, and extracurricular activities, most students at Staples need the occasional day off. Whether it’s to catch up on work or to catch up on sleep, all students and teachers want a holiday.

During the first two weeks of school, students and teachers in Westport enjoy having a four-day week and then a three-day week. But after that, there no more long weekends, vacations, or half days until Thanksgiving.

That’s just too long.

New teachers, college applications, and SATs create the perfect storm to destroy a high schooler’s social life. I would understand if the Board of Education would eliminate a holiday later in the year, but taking away one day off in the first quarter is a little extreme.

Between Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving, there are no breaks. This extended period of time full of tests, quizzes, and extensive homework assignments can make students and teachers a little antsy.

Students especially want Columbus Day off, not only to celebrate but to do what most teenagers do, which is sleep.

As Kenny Brill ‘17 says, “We’ve always celebrated it in the past and we need a break to sleep in.”

Whether it is sports, orchestra, or just plain high school work, all students wish to take a break from the pressure.

Compared to last year, this new school year seems like boarding school. Last year around the time of Columbus Day, the whole district had five days off for Hurricane Sandy. This unexpected “vacation” made the first quarter go by very fast.

Students are not the only ones who hope to have a day off to celebrate the founding of the new world. An anonymous history teacher says, “It’s traditionally been a public holiday in the past, and most other districts in the state have it. If we had it last year, why don’t we have it this year? If we don’t have Veterans Day, we should at least have Columbus Day.”

Whether it’s celebrating the New World or celebrating the beauty of sleep, we need to dedicate Columbus Day as a holiday.