It’s less Santa, more Scrooge at a Nebraska elementary school… after the principal banned all displays of Christmas.
Jennifer Sinclair, the principal of Manchester Elementary School, sent a letter to faculty, insisting that they not display anything related to Christmas in their classrooms.
That’s not limited to religious depictions of the holiday: Christmas music, Christmas trees, candy canes, and even the colors red and green are banned under Sinclair’s policy.
Sinclair’s letter sums up what’s allowed and what’s not, writing:
Santas or Christmas items (clipart) on worksheets
Christmas trees in classrooms
Elf on the Shelf – that’s Christmas-related
Singing Christmas Carols
Playing Christmas music
Sending a Scholastic book that is a Christmas book – that’s Christmas-related
Making a Christmas ornament as a gift – This assumes that the family has a Christmas
tree which assumes they celebrate Christmas. I challenge the thought of, “Well they can
just hang it somewhere else.”
Candy Cane – that’s Christmas-related. 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. This would also
include different colored candy canes.
Red/Green items – traditional Christmas colors
Christmas videos/movies and/or characters from Christmas movies
Gifts to students
Students making gift for a loved one
Snowmen, snow women, snow people, snowflakes
Holidays Around the World – purposeful presentation of information to teach about
Scarves, boots, earmuffs, and hats
Olaf – Frozen
Backlash among faculty was, apparently, severe.
“It seems that I have stumbled upon a “big rock” that I hadn’t anticipated,” Sinclair wrote, in a second letter to respond to the heavy criticism from her employees. She added, “I come from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in schools, as over the years in my educational career, this has evolved into the expectation for all educators.”
“I have unknowingly awoken a ‘sleeping giant’ with many of you,” Sinclair admitted. “I apologize for the stress that
‘Christmas/holiday/Grinch/Santa/tree’ emails and conversations have caused you.”
But despite the apology, she’s apparently making no changes to the policy–instead promising better communication.
“I will do my best to communicate the expectation from here on out, which aligns with my interpretation of our expectations as a public school who seeks to be inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students,” she concluded.
Is your child’s school implementing any sort of similar policy? Let us know in the comments!