Winter programs in schools should
be culturally sensitive
By Elizabeth Devlin
December 15, 2006 | Courts and school districts have
been battling in the war of Christmas and religion in
schools for years. Most public school districts through
out the country refer to the school break between the
first and second semester of school as the Winter Break,
not Christmas Vacation to stay more politically correct.
A local family discussed this issue online on their
family website. Curtis Devlin wrote, "Not everyone is
Christian, and not every Christian celebrates Christmas.
What's wrong with making sure to include everyone? I
don't understand why something is bad because it's politically
correct. You can have a winter program that includes
Christmas themes, without turning it into a religious
Religion and education is a touchy subject in the
United States and especially in our schools. The National
Parent Teacher Association, in a pamphlet created to
help parents understand separation of religion and schools,
stated, "religious holidays offer opportunities to teach
religion in elementary and secondary schools. Teaching
about religious holidays, which is permissible, is different
from celebrating religious holidays, which is not."
Because of how our country and the commercial industry
feeds off of the seasonal holidays, it would be unrealistic
to ban winter season from schools. The media and advertising
is unavoidable and can be seen and talked about in our
schools from those who celebrate Christmas. Some parents
argue that this war with Christmas in the schools are
making the children grow up too fast. So far, the Supreme
Court has not made any definite ruling on religious
holidays in schools but more and more school districts
are steering away from Christmas programs and instead
replacing Christmas with the term winter holiday or
winter programs. A school in Texas has gone as far as
not allowing red and green decorations in the school
during the month of December.
Tashina Meaker is a student at Utah State University
studying special education and also is a student teacher
in Logan. She states, "The heart of Christmas is Christ.
It is not appropriate for school but it is a holiday
as well as the other winter religious holidays, that
express love, kindess, and giving. There shouldn't be
anything wrong with teaching these principles especially
at this time of the year. Taking the holiday celebrations
is taking away traditions of our country." Christmas
isn't just a religious holiday, it is American tradition,
Brent Olsson, an attorney allied with a
foundation that supports religious liberties, stated,
"it is a myth that the so-called 'separation of
church and state' requires officials to suppress the
celebration of Christmas in public schools."
Joel Allred, principal at a local elementary school,
says banning should not be the issue. Meaker and Allred
both commented that teachers should be culturely sensitive
to their classroom and introduce other religious holidays
as well as Christmas. This Web
site gives information and even recipes of other
religious holidays that can be introduced in the classroom.
The solution is educate the children, not ban, Meaker
and Allred said.