Holidays with a religious component are tricky for public schools to maneuver. Administrators must respect the beliefs of diverse school community members without officially endorsing any one particular faith. The potential minefield posed by Christmas has led many districts to err on the side of caution and eliminate any element of the widely celebrated winter holiday.
(Image credit: LAC3RUS)
Such is the case in Frisco, Texas, where Fox News is reporting that students at Nichols Elementary Schools have been instructed to not “make any reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday. Christmas trees are also banned—along with the colors red and green.”
Despite a recent Texas law that allows students and faculty to exchange “Merry Christmas” wishes and display Christmas trees, the district in Frisco is allowing local principals to set their own policies regarding such things at their schools, and the administration at Nichols is said to be moving forward with the bans.
As the Christmas holiday tends to stoke strong emotions, people from across the country have taken to the Internet to voice their opinions on the situation.
User “wirthfam” suggests that those who feel the school is overstepping its bounds should bombard the building with Christmas spirit:
“Parents should get together, head to school wearing bright red and green and sing Christmas carols while holding little Christmas trees....I would be there right next to them.”
“Grahambly” sides with the Nichols administration, empathizing with the students who do not celebrate Christmas in their homes:
“Don’t speak until you have walked in the shoes of that child who does not celebrate Christmas in his/her home and see how uncomfortable it is for him/her for approximately a month leading up to Christmas. Every child should feel comfortable at school, and celebrating religious holidays will always exclude some child. TEACH about the different holidays and celebrations. That is what school is about, as opposed to forcing children to CELEBRATE others’ holidays.”
“Joegonzo999” tried to make peace between opposing viewpoints:
“Well, this is America, I’m not Christian, and I don’t celebrate Christmas. However, I don’t care if you do. Just [remember] that over 25% of America is not Christian and has a right to celebrate their own traditions without being forced to celebrate Christmas or anything else. Have your tree, have your decorations, have your caroling (they are all pagan anyway, ironically enough), celebrate your holiday in peace, and I will celebrate mine.”
“Adesertrider” thinks that those who disagree with the bans should mount a peaceful protest via mail:
“Swamp them with Christian love instead of protests. They won’t know how to deal.”
“Shabanaga” cuts right through the debate with a simple question:
“Whatever happened to Festivus?”