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Schools Face Criticism After Changing ‘Silent Night’ Lyrics to Represent All Religions

Schools Face Critism After Changing ‘Silent Night’ Lyrics to Represent All Religions

It seems every consecutive year, a school somewhere makes national news for removing religious references from songs and celebrations during the holiday season in an attempt to avoid excluding non-Christians.

Today, the issue is brought up once again after a caller in Connecticut phoned into her local radio morning in show, Chaz & AJ In The Morning, and complained about her son’s elementary school swapping out the lyrics of “Silent Night” to make it inclusive for all religions.

Instead of going with the traditional lyrics “Silent night, holy night,” the upset mother claimed her son’s school changed the lyrics to “silent night, solstice night.”

While this incident is yet to be confirmed, this wouldn’t be the first time a school administration has decided to switch the song’s lyrics up.

In 2013. a Long Island school drew national attention after it removed religious references such as “holy infant” and “Christ the savior” from the school’s annual fifth-grade concert, said CBS New York.

Many parents with children in the school found the change offensive, saying the administration should have chosen a different song rather than altering it to change its meaning.

The administration agreed, later apologizing for altering the song.

Years prior in 2005, a school district in Wisconsin faced a law suit from Liberty Counsel after it completely changed the lyrics to “Silent Night,” instead renaming it “Cold in the Night” to secularize the lyrics.

The Liberty Counsel wrote to the Dodgeville School District and threatened a law suit if the school’s winter program was not changed to stop taking a “hostile position” on Christmas in the classroom, according to

The school district denied the claims and called the allegations nothing more than an attempt to stir up controversy as part of the "the faked-up national 'debate' about a so-called 'war on Christmas,'" later counter-suing the right-leaning group.

Just like years passed, this holiday season the stories are now piling up with changes that public schools have made to secularize the celebrations and include all. 

Education World would like to know: what does your school do to include members of all religions into holiday celebrations?

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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