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Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

Massachusetts School Principal Eats Crow, Or Maybe Turkey

Ann Foley, the Somerville, MA school principal who wanted to ban Columbus Day and Thanksgiving “because Christopher Columbus committed atrocities” received so many indignant e-mails from parents, historians and politicians, that she had to apologize for her politically correct remarks. Could it be that America is getting tired of Anti-American silliness in the classroom? {editor)

By Jessica Fargen
The Boston Herald
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 -
The Somerville principal who suffered backlash for disparaging Columbus Day has apologized to parents for the “inflammatory” email that prompted outcry that the school department had run amok with political correctness.

Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley drew criticism after she sent an email to teachers saying Christopher Columbus committed “atrocities” against “indigenous peoples of the ‘new’ world.”

“For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated,” she wrote in an Oct. 5 email.

In an automated phone call and email to parents, staff and students Sunday night, Foley said: “I apologize if my words offended anyone – that was not my intent.”

Foley explained that the Oct. 5 email was intended only for her staff with “the intent of sparking an educational discussion on how we can address the multi-cultural perspectives on our upcoming holidays,” according to a transcript of the message released by the school department yesterday. Foley said that had her email been intended for a broader audience she would have used “less inflammatory words.”

The Herald on Friday reported on Foley’s email, which also cautioned teachers to “be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well.” Foley’s phone message was in response to the Herald article, which included criticism from school family members, historians and U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano.

Foley could not be reached for comment yesterday.

School Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi also issued a statement yesterday in response to the holiday flap saying Foley’s email was intended to “spark healthy faculty discussion” about Christopher Columbus and that the schools celebrate holidays “when related to the curriculum.”

“When we teach and learn about history, we do so with the knowledge that history is complex and a full story takes time to study and learn,” he said.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone told the Herald last week Foley had a “fair point” about Columbus Day. He has since elaborated saying: “For many historians Columbus’ voyage marks the end of medieval Europe and the dawn of the modern world. As an Italian-American I take great pride in that, but I also recognize the wrongs committed by the conquistadors who followed him.”

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