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Should holiday decorations be allowed in public schools?

What is your opinion on holiday decorations in public schools?


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Josie

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What is your opinion on public schools allowing holiday decor this time of year?
 

roughdraft274

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I'm fine with it as long as "holiday decorations" isn't a code name for bible quotes and manger scenes everywhere just to indoctrinate the kids. But some santa's and rudolph's and christmas trees and stuff I don't mind at all.
 

beancounter

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I'm inclined to say all decorations should be allowed...but give some people an inch and they'll take a mile, that's why I voted for no decorations.

For example, there is a big difference between displaying a Christmas tree, pictures of Santa, Rudolph and Frosty vs. a nativity scene, or a statue of a bleeding Jesus nailed to a Crucifix.
 

Captain Adverse

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I opted for "all holiday decorations should be allowed" but not just for "this time of the year."

Religious festivals occur throughout the year; not just Christian, but also Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc.

I see no problem in allowing schools the option of permitting religious festive decorations that reflect the mores and beliefs of students who attend their schools.

That seems only fair and equitable (as well as educational) to me.
 

OlNate

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What is your opinion on public schools allowing holiday decor this time of year?

I think having all holiday décor that coincides with the season is a great thing.

And I wouldn't shy away from the details of those holidays, or sanitize it to just being the commercial aspect of the holiday - Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, presents, Christmas trees, etc. First of all that only shows the commercialized Christian version of the holiday, ignoring all the other holidays going on this time of year, second of all it's a missed learning opportunity, which, given this is being done in school, would be a shame.

My son is in grade 1, and his school has decorations from all major holidays going on, and they sent an invitation to all the parents to come in individually and take some time to teach the kids about the holiday traditions in their homes. As a result, not only did they learn about Christmas, but also Diwali, Hanukkah, and even Winter Solstice. Sadly we didn't have any families that celebrate Kwanza, so the teacher took that one on as best she could. Decorations and food were brought in, and the kids made crafts in those themes as well.

All in all it was a great experience for my son, and my wife and I were a lot happier with the outcome than if it had been sanitized, because of all the additional learning. These things can happen, when mutual respect is observed.

For reference, this was in a rural public school in north eastern Ontario, where the population is probably 90% WASP....with the political lean of the community being about 60:40 in favor of liberal vs. conservative. And there were no protests from either side....lol
 

TheParser

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Only Christmas decorations should be allowed in front of the school, in the hallways, in the cafeteria, etc.

Traditionally, this has been a Christian nation.

For sometime to come, it will continue to be.

Therefore, only Christmas should be celebrated in public schools.

*****

Of course, all religions should be respected.

If students wish to take a day off for a non-Christian religion, no problem.

In fact, if they wish to put up decorations in a specified area, no problem. But it should not be a school-sponsored event.

Here in Los Angeles, there has long been a very diplomatic way to show respect to religion X. Each year, one day is always a non-school day for some reason (I forget what). It is also a "coincidence" that every year the selected day just happens to also be a holiday for religion X.
 
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WCH

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I'm fine with it as long as "holiday decorations" isn't a code name for bible quotes and manger scenes everywhere just to indoctrinate the kids. But some santa's and rudolph's and christmas trees and stuff I don't mind at all.

Cause you don't clue into the CHRISTmas thingy.

 

roughdraft274

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Cause you don't clue into the CHRISTmas thingy.


I'm pretty sure most kids are aware of the whole christ connection. I don't think that should be something pushed in schools. Taught in religious classes or whatever, of course, but not pushed. But Christmas and "the holidays" in our current society have numerous other important factors and traditions that have little or nothing to do with religion that I don't think should be thrown out with the bathwater.

If a parent wants their kids taught about Christ, there are very likely numerous churches with wonderful leaders and congregations that would welcome them in on any day of the week or they are free to do so on their own time and on their own dime. But my tax dollars aren't to be used for it. Just as you wouldn't want your tax dollars used to push an empirically fact free ideology on to your kids.
 

WCH

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I'm pretty sure most kids are aware of the whole christ connection. I don't think that should be something pushed in schools. Taught in religious classes or whatever, of course, but not pushed. But Christmas and "the holidays" in our current society have numerous other important factors and traditions that have little or nothing to do with religion that I don't think should be thrown out with the bathwater.

If a parent wants their kids taught about Christ, there are very likely numerous churches with wonderful leaders and congregations that would welcome them in on any day of the week or they are free to do so on their own time and on their own dime. But my tax dollars aren't to be used for it. Just as you wouldn't want your tax dollars used to push an empirically fact free ideology on to your kids.
A lot are only interested in the commercialism angle. It's made a farce of Christmas.
 

OlNate

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I'm pretty sure most kids are aware of the whole christ connection. I don't think that should be something pushed in schools. Taught in religious classes or whatever, of course, but not pushed. But Christmas and "the holidays" in our current society have numerous other important factors and traditions that have little or nothing to do with religion that I don't think should be thrown out with the bathwater.

If a parent wants their kids taught about Christ, there are very likely numerous churches with wonderful leaders and congregations that would welcome them in on any day of the week or they are free to do so on their own time and on their own dime. But my tax dollars aren't to be used for it. Just as you wouldn't want your tax dollars used to push an empirically fact free ideology on to your kids.

As much as atheists would love to erase religion, it's an enduring aspect of our humanity, with 84% of the world's population still claiming one faith or another. ;) I agree with you, I don't think it's the school's job to evangelize - that's why, as a Christian, I send my kid to a public school. However teaching about what the holidays mean, to the various religions groups that observe them, is not indoctrination, but simply education: "Christians believe" or "Muslims believe" or "Hindus believe" is different than "you should believe". As long as that line isn't crossed, I'm good with it.
 

beancounter

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A lot are only interested in the commercialism angle. It's made a farce of Christmas.

But don't Christians believe that corporations and Capitalism are next to Godliness? If so, then the commercialization of Christmas makes perfect sense.
 

Taylor

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How depressing to think of a school that allows no holiday decorations.
 

Rosie1

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I think most should be allowed. Schools already have a "Harvest Carnival" instead of calling that holiday Halloween, etc.
 

Taylor

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However teaching about what the holidays mean, to the various religions groups that observe them, is not indoctrination, but simply education: "Christians believe" or "Muslims believe" or "Hindus believe" is different than "you should believe". As long as that line isn't crossed, I'm good with it.
Agree. Many schools do this. Young kids learn about celebrations all over the world and they get to learn about other kids' beliefs, do crafts, etc. Kids love this sort of thing. It's of interest to them, and provides perspective that the world is a very big, very diverse place.
 
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OlNate

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Yes, but it's a slippery slope, and many people will take advantage of it.

Meh...cross the bridge when you come to it. I'd rather not deny my kid education because I'm nervous about what a couple bad apples will do. Unless you're in a completely homogenous community (i.e., everyone is Baptist, or something), aggressive indoctrination is unlikely to be tolerated for long. I'm Lutheran, and I'd be vexed if the school started pushing Lutheran values.

I think respect and care need to be built into the approach...we got a note from the teacher telling us what was being planned for the Christmas season, and we could have pulled our guy out any time, for any or all of it. I think the way our school did it was good.
 

OlNate

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I think most should be allowed. Schools already have a "Harvest Carnival" instead of calling that holiday Halloween, etc.

Good grief, a what?? lol... How unfortunate.
 

OlNate

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But don't Christians believe that corporations and Capitalism are next to Godliness? If so, then the commercialization of Christmas makes perfect sense.

No, that's not what Christians believe. Well, not because of their Christianity, anyway...
 

MrWonka

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What is your opinion on public schools allowing holiday decor this time of year?

I think your poll is missing the correct option. Holiday decorations are fine. You want to put up pictures of Santa Claus, Reindeer, tinsel, lights, red/green colors, stars... That's all fine. Now if you want to put up things like Nativity Scenes, Crucifix's, pictures of Jesus... that's where we have an issue. Even something like a menorah might be pushing it.
 

Josie

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Only Christmas decorations should be allowed in front of the school, in the hallways, in the cafeteria, etc.

Traditionally, this has been a Christian nation.

For sometime to come, it will continue to be.

Therefore, only Christmas should be celebrated in public schools.

This is ridiculous. "Traditionally," we're a nation of many cultures and religions. There's no reason why it should be ONLY Christmas decorations allowed.
 

Josie

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The OP did say holidays...but OK, if you need a 1 to 1 example then: Easter Bunny vs. Bleeding Jesus on a Crucifix.

Public educators aren't allowed to "preach" a religion to their students.

But I have a follow-up question here -- could a public school teacher have a crucifix or Koran or any other kind of religious symbol in or at her desk for her own personal use? I always have a Bible on my teacher bookshelf behind my desk in my classroom.
 

Taylor

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Now if you want to put up things like Nativity Scenes, Crucifix's, pictures of Jesus... that's where we have an issue. Even something like a menorah might be pushing it.
Why? What's wrong with helping kids understand that different people have different beliefs? Kids at the school by my house had a parent come in and talk about Jewish beliefs. They learned about lighting candles on the menorah. They played with dreidels. They ate latkes. They loved it.
 

TheGoverness

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Only Christmas decorations should be allowed in front of the school, in the hallways, in the cafeteria, etc.

Traditionally, this has been a Christian nation.

For sometime to come, it will continue to be.

Therefore, only Christmas should be celebrated in public schools.

*****

Of course, all religions should be respected.

If students wish to take a day off for a non-Christian religion, no problem.

In fact, if they wish to put up decorations in a specified area, no problem. But it should not be a school-sponsored event.

Here in Los Angeles, there has long been a very diplomatic way to show respect to religion X. Each year, one day is always a non-school day for some reason (I forget what). It is also a "coincidence" that every year the selected day just happens to also be a holiday for religion X.

This is not a Christian nation. Has never been.
 
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