Empire State Christmas Blues

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East Syracuse, NY – In the Minoa School District, parents received a letter from their school with strict limits that essentially ban all things Christmas from the school’s program. The letter reads, “Programs that involve singular traditions may take place but such celebrations must be voluntary, occur outside of regular hours, and not be sponsored by the school district.”

Patti Puma, a parent with four children in the school district, approached Deputy Superintendent Dr. Thomas Neveldine about this new restriction. Dr. Neveldine told her that Santa Claus was no longer allowed on campus because he originated from the story about St. Nicholas. Thus, according to the Deputy Superintendent, nothing with any hint of Christianity is permissible to celebrate Christmas, even if the symbol has a decidedly secular meaning today.

On Monday, concerned parents and citizens will address the local school board. A growing group of parents are fighting against these ridiculous restrictions. A petition has been started that requests the return of Christmas celebrations.

Liberty Counsel has joined with Christian Educators Association International in the seventh annual Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign, a campaign that is designed to educate and, if necessary, litigate to make sure religious viewpoints regarding Christmas are not censored. Liberty Counsel has legal memos that address the law regarding this issue on its website at www.LC.org. Liberty Counsel also has its “Naughty & Nice” list, which overviews retailers that acknowledge Christmas and those that do not.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Perhaps educators ought to check out the name of the holiday they enjoy on December 25. Wouldn’t someone with a little common sense understand its okay to celebrate both the secular and religious aspects of Christmas? Censoring only the religious viewpoint of Christmas, or pretending like Christmas does not exist, reveals hostility toward religion, which the Constitution forbids.”

This article is excerpted from a Liberty Counsel press release.