Thursday, December 16, 2004

Just tape the kids' mouths shut

The Plano school district in Texas cracks down on Christmas -- big time:

In addition to banning Christmas colors, school officials have reportedly prohibited students from exchanging candy canes and pencils with religious messages on them, using reindeer symbols, or writing "Merry Christmas" on greeting cards to U.S. soldiers because the phrase might "offend someone." The district has even applied its policy to parents involved in school activities, barring them from exchanging "religious" Christmas items with other parents.

The Alliance Defense Fund will sue. Should be an easy win. Christmas colors? Come on.


Adam Scavone said...

It's school, not a social club!!

Clara said...

Tracing hand turkeys, making holiday cards, wearing green reindeer sweaters when appropriate -- that's what you do in third grade. You celebrate the holidays because you're not old enough to anything else, like experiment with exothermic reactions or read Auden.

I'm not a Christian, so there's no conflict of interest when I say, "Bring on the caroling!" Christmas is an American holiday -- like Halloween or the Fourth of July.

Then again, if the plaintiff loses this one, it could be that final push we need to get rid of "public" schooling once and for all. I have my doubts about school vouchers, which leaves the whole entitlement system firmly in place. It takes away any excuse free-marketeers would have to complain about choice and government meddling. (The truth is, we'd just have people demanding more money each year to match "the rising costs of education" or whatever.)

Milton Friedman -- in spite of inventing school vouchers -- pointed out that education was darn near universal in Great Britain before the government got involved. People seem to assume (a la Marco's nemeses) that OTHER parents are evil people who would just as soon pull their kids out of school and start sending them to work corking wine bottles at a factory in Trenton.

Dan said...

Banning voluntary expression (religious or secular) is crossing the line, but I would hesitate to go so far as to say that "Christmas is an American holiday". It's celebrated all over the world as a Christian holiday. Many secular people choose to celebrate it, but it is not a secular holiday.

Clara said...

I happen to think the "Christmas under assault!" campaign is histrionic and only serves the purpose of stroking egos. (Ahem, Bill O'Reilly.) But this school ban took the no-evergreen-trees ban too far, in my opinion.