Folks Were Up In Arms
One Nebraska elementary school principle tried to put the damper on Christmas traditions and parents were NOT having it.
According to The Kansas City Star, Jennifer Sinclair of Manchester Elementary School sent out a Christmas memo banning everything from Santa Clause imagery, to Christmas trees, to singing Christmas carols.
“Santa and Christmas items are not to be on activities or copies,” Sinclair’s memo said. “We have varied religious beliefs in our school, and it is our job to be inclusive.”
Even candy canes were banned because according to the memo, “Historically, the shape is a “J” for Jesus, the red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection.”
The woman had no leniency.
Parents were not about to let Ms. Sinclair ruin their kids’ Christmas though.
“If a school’s going to be able to eliminate everything about Christmas, it may not stop there,” parent Jenni Myers said.
A few parents tried to get help from Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based non-profit that says they work on First Amendment religious liberty issues.
Liberty wrote to the school district on November 30 demanding the “reversal of the comprehensive ban on all Christmas holiday symbols” because it “violates the U.S. Constitution by showing hostility toward Christianity.”
There were no calls by Liberty Counsel to have Sinclair fired, however the district spokesperson Kara Perchal said that they put Sinclair on administrative leave on Thursday. She said the memo “does not reflect the policy of Elkhorn Public Schools regarding holiday symbols in the school.”
Along with reversing the Christmas “ban,” an attorney for the school district contacted Liberty Counsel saying he “will work with staff to correct any erroneous communications and clarify any misunderstandings.”
Elkhorn Public Schools policy says “religious symbols, such as crosses, creches or menorahs may be used as teaching aids in the classroom provided that the symbols are displayed as an example of the cultural and/or religious heritage of the holiday and are temporary in nature.”
“I wanted to reach out and make sure our families understand what occurred, and what has been done to correct the issue,” Sinclair said to parents. “I understand that the information I initially provided was incorrect and I sincerely apologize for any confusion or concern this has caused and the negative attention this issue brings to the District and Manchester.”
The Liberty Counsel was prepared to take legal action if the district didn’t reverse Sinclair’s memo. Ironically, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit that monitors hate groups, classified the Liberty Counsel as an anti-LGBT group who’s advocated “for anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.”
They’ll ride or die for religion, no matter who gets thrown under the bus.
It is a bold move to try and cancel popular Christmas traditions though.
What do you think of Ms. Sinclair’s actions? Is she just trying to play it safe or is it too much?