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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.07.17 @ 12:54 PM
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    "Merry Christmas" banned from Conn elementary school.

    Erik Brown, principal of Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury, Conn., has reportedly banned all religious festivities and many decorations from the classroom since arriving at the school five years ago.

    http://www.wfsb.com/education/21962708/detail.html

    Brown, who declined comment through a spokeswoman to FoxNews.com on Friday, explained to The Republican-American newspaper that state law mandates that a public school cannot knowingly exclude children.

    "This is not a church," Brown told the paper. "It's a school and it's a public school. I have to do things that include every child. So what we do is celebrate winter."

    In a statement, Waterbury Public Schools Superintendent David Snead defended Brown, calling the issue of religious celebrations "especially difficult" in December and reminding all staff at the district's schools that holidays festivities can proceed but without religious overtones.

    "This a constitutional issue — separation of church and state — and is not up to individual discussion," Snead's statement read. "The issue of religious celebrations is especially difficult during the month of December."

    Waterbury Teachers Association President Donna Vignali, who could not be reached for comment Friday, has said neither she nor union officials at Walsh Elementary have received any complaints related to the policy.

    "I don't know where that complaint came from," Vignali told The Republican-American in reference to reported objections to the policy by one teacher and one parent at the school.

    Board of Education member John Theriault told the paper that many of Waterbury's 20 elementary schools display Christmas ornaments and allow Christmas parties.

    "I felt there was inequity," Theriault said. "If one school has Christmas parties for the kids, then others should too."

    Brown told the paper that songs celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will be sung during Walsh's "Winter Celebration" on Dec. 21, and as in previous years, presents will be given to students.

    Snead, meanwhile, stressed "balance and equality" regarding any in-class celebration.

    'It is possible to acknowledge and teach about each holiday as it approaches, provided there is a balance and equality in the approach, with no one religion receiving any special consideration," Snead's statement continued. "As long as the line is not crossed between 'teaching' about a holiday and 'endorsing' the religion, this is acceptable, but no public school should promote any religious observance."

    Calls seeking comment from Board of Education President Patrick Hayes were not immediately returned Friday.
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  2. #2
    Eruption hotforteacher921's Avatar
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    06.20.12 @ 10:40 PM
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    When you think about it with this principal's mindset, it seems that one Jehovah's Witness could throw his whole balance off since they don't celebrate any holidays. God forbid kids should be taught to appreciate different cultures and traditions...
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  3. #3
    Baluchitherium Duke's Avatar
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    07.10.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    In my household, it's two weeks of Festivus.
    Frank Costanza was on to something.

    We're putting the pole up tonight.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    07.30.17 @ 08:59 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    In my household, it's two weeks of Festivus.
    Frank Costanza was on to something.

    We're putting the pole up tonight.
    Make sure you post pics of the Feats of Strength, por favor.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 10:23 AM
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    I hope that principal gets loads of Christmas (and other types) of cards this year. Maybe it will help understand this part of the season a little more. I understand the seperation of church and state but give me a break.
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  6. #6
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    08.19.10 @ 08:10 AM
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    Well, my daughter is great friends with a Jehovah's Witness.....and their school does have Christmas parties and such....Alana participates, and her family is fine with that...Personally, I do think it's sad that the principal won't allow any activities at the school....Pushing his feelings on everyone...I think it'd be fine for each classroom to do a little something, as long as they sent notes home to parents, and everyone agreed.....Reminds me of the Salvation Army volunteers that ring the bell...A friend of mine dropped some change in the bucket, the volunteer said "Happy Holidays", she asked "Why didn't you say Merry Christmas?" He replied "I don't feel it's right because we all don't believe in Christmas".

    I can see his point, but EVERYONE knows what Christmas is.....

  7. #7
    Hot For Teacher Kula's Avatar
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    I'm sure, however, that this jackass had no problem voicing his "unbiased" opinions of our savior Obama...just sayin...

  8. #8
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    The nice thing about the Festivus pole is, if installed correctly, it can have multiple uses.
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 06:24 AM
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    Bah Humbug.

    Merry Christmas you turd!
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  10. #10
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    What is this principal doing wrong? He is allowing a winter celebration and they are allowed to discuss all the different ways that the different cultures celebrate the holidays. They are also handing out presents.

    "Brown told the paper that songs celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will be sung during Walsh's "Winter Celebration" on Dec. 21, and as in previous years, presents will be given to students."

    I'm not sure where the outrage is coming from, this is how most schools are handling it and as a Christian, I see nothing wrong. What's important is what you teach in your own home about the holiday and what it means. I'm not depending on the school system to teach my kids about celebrating Christs' birth.
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    I'm as a big a fan of keeping churches out of schools (and vice versa) as anyone but I honestly don't have a problem with kids drawing pictures of santa claus and frosty the snowman and having christmas cookies at their christmas party.

    That said, I don't really have a problem with schools having generic holiday parties either. If you have a school full of kids who don't celebrate christmas, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have them celebrate christmas.

    I grew up in a very secular home. I was never taken to church, my parents never forced me to believe anything in regard to god or spirituality and never tried to cultivate any sort of specfic belief. We still had a christmas tree, we still gave gifts and we still hung lights.

    The only harm or discomfort came from christian kids who kept picking on me and giving me shit for "not being a real christian."

    The fact is, christmas has taken on a very secular significance, independent of the religious meaning. Obviously that pisses a lot of people off but hey...you're partly to blame for putting so much significance on the non-christian aspects of it to begin with. There are no christmas trees, flashy lights, reindeer or santa in the new testament...hell, JChrist wasn't even born in December.

    So anyway...I don't have a huge problem with what they're doing...but I do think they might be a bit over-sensitive. I dont' think I'll prevent my kid from drawing rudolph or eating "christmas" candy whenever he or she is old enough to go to school, that's really the least of my worries.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  12. #12
    Hang 'Em High jetguy5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveevhsince79 View Post
    "Brown told the paper that songs celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will be sung during Walsh's "Winter Celebration" on Dec. 21, and as in previous years, presents will be given to students."
    My son is in the choir at his school and they had their big concert last Wednesday night. This is exactly how they handled the whole Christmas situation. They sang songs that represented various groups and in between the songs one of the students read some history about each holiday, including Christmas. It was handled really well and I actually learned something. Trust me...I am the first one to scream when I hear about a city hall not putting up a Christmas tree etc. but I was very happy how the school handled the situation. In today's climate it is too easy for these schools to just avoid the whole topic all together.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetguy5150 View Post
    My son is in the choir at his school and they had their big concert last Wednesday night. This is exactly how they handled the whole Christmas situation. They sang songs that represented various groups and in between the songs one of the students read some history about each holiday, including Christmas. It was handled really well and I actually learned something. Trust me...I am the first one to scream when I hear about a city hall not putting up a Christmas tree etc. but I was very happy how the school handled the situation. In today's climate it is too easy for these schools to just avoid the whole topic all together.
    you bring up a great point. All too often, Christmas freaks get up in arms because they have to share the stage with other cultures...like somehow mentioning the fact that the season has significance beyond Santa Christ means that Jesus is being kicked to the curb. What you describe, and what that school is shooting for is all good. This is a very significant time of the year for humankind. There's a great deal of historical, natural, spiritual and religious aspects to the solstice, winter time, and the changing of the seasons. Schools expanding the scope of significance to include things beyond christmas isn't a bad thing.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  14. #14
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetguy5150 View Post
    Trust me...I am the first one to scream when I hear about a city hall not putting up a Christmas tree etc. but I was very happy how the school handled the situation. In today's climate it is too easy for these schools to just avoid the whole topic all together.
    This is how all the government facilities should handle it. They could put up a nativity, a menorah, the kinara, etc and honor all the religions that celebrate this time of year. Instead, it goes from one extreme to another. When we separate church and state, it should only be that we do not favor one religion over another not that we ignore it altogether.
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  15. #15
    Hang 'Em High jetguy5150's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 10:52 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveevhsince79 View Post
    it should only be that we do not favor one religion over another not that we ignore it altogether.
    Bingo! The response to, "You don't have a menorah so you can't have a Christmas tree!" should really be, "You have a Christmas tree so let's put up a menorah."
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