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 Christmas in Public Schools 
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Do you guys believe that Christmas should be openly celebrated by public schools? For example, having a Christmas tree in the halls, or playing Christmas music at band concerts.

My high school did not use the phrase "Merry Christmas," but instead said "Happy Holidays," which covers all of them and prevents kids from different backgrounds from feeling uncomfortable.
My school had a significant Jewish population, and the school was aware of this and that is why they made this decision.

So what do you guys think? Should public schools celebrate Christmas?
And pretend for a moment that you did not celebrate Christmas, would it make you uncomfortable going to a school with Christmas decorations everywhere?

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Jon Barth


Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:52 am
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It has recently become quite clear that when teachers wish students a "Merry Christmas," they are potentially offending students of other religious belief systems such as Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish, etc. However, I think we have overlooked a certain group. As a state seperated from the church, teachers must not favor one religion over another, religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion. When we wish our broad-spectrum ""Happy Holidays" we have ignored those religions that do not have a holiday over the winter break and those groups that do not celebrate any hoidays. Certainly, it can be argued that New Year's is a holiday that all can celebrate but I think it is still a very confusing line to try to toe.

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Justin Stagner


Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:37 pm
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In a world obsessed with being PC, we can drive ourselves crazy trying to appeal to all while offending none. I think that blatantly favoring one religion over another (ex- Christmas tree) has a big potential to offend some people. But where do we draw the line? If we take all the celebrations away so as to not offend anyone, we won't have anything to celebrate anymore!

I'm going to teach in an elementary school, and I think that instead of trying not to offend anyone, I'll try to encourage everyone. Before the holiday break, you could have the students draw a picture of what they'll be doing for the next few weeks. You might even want to have a show-and-tell time to get an idea of where they all stand. If they draw themselves putting up a tree and opening presents, wish them a Merry Christmas. If they draw themselves watching the ball drop, wish them a Happy New Year. If they show themselves sledding and skating, wish them a Happy Winter. This way, you're making your greeting personal to them, appealing to everyone, and adding a bit of personality to your goodbyes.

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Morgan Gill


Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:15 pm
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In my high school Christmas was always celebrated. We would have Christmas parties, watch Christmas movies, the Concert Choir would put on a Christmas concert for the whole school, and more. It was basically a end of the semester party after we had finished all the state testing. At the time I thought that it was so much fun because I love Christmas, but looking back on it I am sure that there were students who didn't enjoy it as much as me but they didn't complain either because they were getting out of class. I would have to add that I come from a small town, my graduating class was only about 90 students, so there wasn't a whole lot of diversity.

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Amy Drum


Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:18 pm
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