Statement by Columbus Heritage Coalition President Angelo Vivolo on Action By NYC Department of Education

Mayor de Blasio’s education department today violated the civil rights of the tens of thousands of Italian American students in New York City. By canceling the celebration of one culture and substituting another, the mayor’s appointees have pitted group against group. They seek to spread the virus of hatred to destroy understanding and unity.

These efforts will fail.

Italian American students are entitled to the same rights as other groups. These include the federally guaranteed right of equal protection. The mayor has the power to rescind his appointee’s hateful action immediately and
follow state law. We demand that he act now. We reserve the right to defend our students and our culture in the courts and the ballot box in New York, where nearly 20 percent identify as having Italian racial heritage.