BILL HEMMER (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): A petition now calling on Randolph Township in New Jersey, the school board members to step down after they voted unanimously about a week ago to remove all holiday names from the academic calendar.
HEMMER: So some parents furious over the move which comes after an uproar over renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. School board member telling the local Fox affiliate, quote, "If we don't have anything on a calendar, we don't have to have anyone with hurt feelings or anything like that."
Which is probably true, but is it right or smart? Here is Carley Shimkus, how are you doing, Carley?
CARLEY SHIMKUS: Hey! Good! Yeah!
HEMMER: Go ahead, go ahead, line it up. Here we go, we have a lot to say.
SHIMKUS: Yeah, well this is where I grew up. I mean, I grew up in a town about 20 minutes down the town from Randolph and this is a conservative area of the country. Morris County is a conservative county but that is really similar to what we have been hearing from parents across the country who say we never thought in our town we would be fighting this woke battle with our school board.
I think -- the question really is why is then this all happening right now? It's not like people in the education sector one day woke up and became progressive. That's always been the case.
So, I think this is coming to a head right now because of the pandemic and homeschooling and parents waking up and saying, Okay, the people that we elected to represent us in the school board actually don't. So, that's the case that's being played out right now. I do think that while there is concern over critical race theory, we are seeing a lot of moments of real solid patriotism across the country as well. Parents who are standing up who never wanted to be on TV or making these big speeches at these school board meetings who are saying, it is time to fight for my family and our values.
MARTHA MACCALLUM (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): You know, I think first of all, don't mess with Thanksgiving in New Jersey. It's just not going to go over very well.
SHIMKUS: In any part of the country.
MACCALLUM: It's not going to go over very well, exactly.
One of the issues here is just, like, stripping away of all of these cultural things across the nation, right? And I think back to the woman that we had on last week who grew up in communist China.
SHIMKUS: Oh my god.
MACCALLUM: And she said this is the way it starts. She said I remember they would change the names of streets, and then they changed the names of our holidays, and then anything that had any religious connotation just went away and she said if you don't recognize it -- what's happening, just look to these examples that you've seen in other places in the world. And we always all think, well not here, that's not going to happen here.
MACCALLUM: But Carley, that's what these parents are responding to on a deep level.
SHIMKUS: Yeah, absolutely, and you know, you think back to what President -- former President Trump said when he said, you know, they're going to one day soon go after George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and people said oh that's just conservative fearmongering. That's not going to happen.
But a few months later, that is exactly what they were doing, and the thing here is that nobody passes this progressive purity test. There was a school that, in Illinois, that was going to be named after former President Obama and they decided to scrap that idea because of his record on deportations or look at what's happening with Tom Hanks today. He wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about how schools should teach more about the Tulsa race massacre and an NPR writer criticized him for not doing enough to fight against racism.