The following comes from a December 18 EAG News article by Victor Skinner:
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Kindergarten parents in San Jose threatened to pull their kids out of school today after the school board canceled a Santa field trip over a single complaint from a Jewish mother.
For at least a decade, kindergarten students at Sartorette Elementary School have participated in a “Dear Santa” assignment that includes a trip to a local coffee shop to visit with the big man himself. But last week, school officials announced this year’s trip is canceled, citing a complaint from a Jewish mother identified only as Talia, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
“Talia, a certified California teacher herself who requested her last name not be used, says she didn’t like the fact that one religion, Christianity, was the focus of most of the December teachings in the school. Specifically, she didn’t like her daughter writing letters to the North Pole for two days in a row, dressing up as reindeer, and a big annual field trip to the local coffee shop where the kids sit on Santa’s lap and ask for presents,” NBC Bay Area reports.
“This is not a Jewish issue for me,” Talia told the news site. “It’s an inclusion issue. We can’t spend five days on just one culture. That’s fostering intolerance. When Christmas is given the same time, or less time, than American holidays, like Veterans Day, then kids don’t feel as American.”
School officials buckled and canceled the Santa trip.
Many parents are in a rage over the decision, and many have vowed to take their children out of school to go through with the field trip on their own.
I’m confused here. At our Catholic school, on December 6, the kids put their shoes outside the classroom and volunteers (not in costume) put in a small gift of candy. We have a volunteer (usually a parent or grandparent) dress up as Santa and briefly visit the preschool and lower grades the week before Christmas, but beyond perhaps an art project he’s hardly part of the curriculum. Certainly an off-campus trip for 5-year-olds to see Santa would never be approved by my principal. I say: point to Talia.
this all leads to no culture, with the kids growing up wishing they were native americans or joining cults because of an identity vacuum. for a while different southwestern indian tribes( i have read that the consensus is that ‘indian’ is preferable to ‘native american among the nations) were flooded by americans wishing they could be indians, desperate to be r.ooted in a tradition. it’s so sad to see that the mom equates santa with christmas when he’s simply become part of the secular fabric of seasonal traditions of americana. it seems the courts have come to recognize this. mom needs more schooling.
I consider myself a faithful Catholic and I agree with Talia. She has some valid objections. Did the field trip involve the use of a school bus, at what cost to the district? Perhaps the bus could have been used for a more educational purpose. Why did they spend two days writing letters to the North Pole? Was there no other person they could write letters to? What was the educational value of having children dress up as reindeers? I hope that teacher is able to think of better teaching ideas for the coming year.
What happened to a little holiday fun for children? Is there something wrong with learning to write letters? They are more likely to learn if it has a focus that they enjoy. Santa is part of “American Holiday Tradition” If anyone has a problem, on the field day, maybe their parents could keep them home or take them to a museum. I don’t think a lesson on inclusiveness is educational, but liberals seem to love that. This politically correct society is destroying this country. Instead of sharing traditions, they are taking them away!
Wow Sarah, and bah humbug to you to! You need to watch Miracle on 34th Street over and over until you remember your childhood, assuming it wasn’t in one of those extremist liberal environments! Faithful Catholic maybe, but hard cold human, for sure!
I knew one elementary public school that solved this problem by letting the Christian students who celebrated Christmas write about Santa and Jesus, the Jewish children write about Hanakkah, the Jehovah’s Witness children and others write about winter and what it meant to them. The school also allowed the Christian, Jewish and other teachers tell stories about the different holidays.as history and not doctrine. This seemed to make everyone happy as no teacher or child was forced to go against his or her conscience.
One Jewish mother! One ruined what has always been a tradition for that school. They should of told that woman she doesnt have to participate but why ruin it for the majority of parents who expected. No common sense! So crooked! How does one anti Christian woman have so much power! What can we do to stoo this nonesense! I hope those parents sue!
Abeca, they should just include something from the Jewish culture, and that should solve the problem for all reasonable people.
A field trip, though, is a rather costly venture, and most schools do not have them for cultural purposes as there are too many different cultures in California. The usually are used for science trips, etc.
Regarding my last post, by “history” I meant that they taught the children what others believed without indoctrinating them. There were also Christmas trees, dreidel games for Hannakah, Chinese New Year and St Patrick’s Day treats, etc., so no one felt left out, and no child was forced to participate in anything their parents did not approve.
It is it fine to tell the basic tenets of the different religions in a public schools and use non controversial portions of religious texts, but recently children in one public school in Virginia were told to write the Shahada in Arabic in calligraphy. The Shahada is the Muslim”s declaration that Mohammed is the prophet of God. They did not interpret into English what the Arabic words meant for the students. That is just plain wrong. No non Muslim child of any faith should have to write the declaration of another faith other than their own.
An example of a non controversial text would be such things as The Golden Rule or other texts that encourage helping the less fortunate.
Oops! the post today at 10:08 a.m. was mine.
These are not my rules, but what I am aware the Supreme Court allows.
The American folk tradition of Santa Claus is an American cultural tradition, not religious.
I think “Mrs. Scrooge” ought to lighten up, and join the party! Why be so heavy and “intellectual,” about Santa Claus? And to deprive a little child of Santa Claus, over-intellectualizing a school’s healthy and happy, wholesome traditions– is just plain INSANE!! A secular school can no longer celebrate Christmas in a religious way, in this country– so, why wreck the secular side of it, and ruin a child’s day?? This “Mrs. Scrooge” is not helping her community– she is SELFISHLY destroying it!! And by the way– how do Jews say “That is Santa Claus!” in Hebrew, to their children, when they see Santa at the Mall??
I think the whole world needs more love, peace, joy, gift-giving, and happiness, in any and every way possible! If some Jews or Muslims had a “Santa Claus”- type of figure, who is not religious, but cultural– who brings gifts and love and joy to the children, dressed up in a cute costume– can’t their tradition likewise be shared, with other American kids?? I have known of Jews in the past, who so longed for Christmas-type celebrations, all their lives– that they always had a Christmas tree for their kids, at Christmas time, in their homes, and also celebrated Hannukah, too! Christmas, for them, was very culturally special, and very “American!” They loved it! Very simple! (And no pork, nothing at all offensive to any of them,…
Im surprised by many comments. This is a Judeo Christian country. Why are we trying to accommodate none believers. The principal is spineless, this could of been handled in a way where the majority had the vote. Its so unAmerican to allow a minority vote dictate. But this country is losing its roots because of politically correctness! Now all it takes is for good people to be intimidated by a whining individual. That one person had more bite than a hand full of parents! Christians need to be more like that one individual. There is power in numbers but we forget that its the numbers that have to believe in themselves! What good is it to be in a big group that is not united enough to say NO! Enough is enough! If it did happen, we may have…
The thing is: CHRISTMAS IS a Federal holiday! Grant signed this into LAW. By trying to please everyone, we upset everyone. Why is Kawanza celebrated? It is a pseudo modern invention. Jewish and Islamic days are NOT federal holidays. Those who do not respect our traditions should just move away. But because we are silent and lazy, our Christian heritage is quickly disappearing.
Home school your children. Talia’s seeming expertise on what will or will not promote intolerance is what promotes insanity in both children and parents.
Welcome to the Church of Perpetual Offense. In this wimpy society, some people and groups exist in a world of everlasting offense. You just cannot do anything without offending somebody. Tolerance means that if you agree with me, you are OK, but if you do not then God help you. Its’ time to thicken our skins again people, all these whiny people are going to have to cowboy up and deal with life, because I, for one, do not give a tinker’s damn about their being offended. Deal with it! Live and let live. One whiner spoils a tradition for a whole school district!!?? The Board needs to man up and tell this lady where to step off.
The Board wanted to save money by cancelling the field trip and needed a scape- goat. Convenience handed them one; field trip cancelled; money saved and they got to save face to boot.
Peter, I have to agree with you on this one. I am sure that there have been more than one complaint, too, about this from Jehovah’s Witnesses and others. Also many Christians, including Catholics, do not “celebrate” Santa Claus and consider him just a secular invention. We never told our children about Santa Claus but about the real St. Nicholas, the bishop. We did let them take pictures at the mall with the plump, jolly old elf, though, and most schools with a majority of Christians do allow a Santa in the schools around Christmastide for the young with treats handed out to each classroom That should be sufficient.
Sorry again, this Anonymous post on Dec. 23 at 7:22 p.m. was mine.
In the US we now have minority rule over the majority contrary to the Constitution.
This forced multi-culturism benefits no one. One solution is to enact a state law requiring each school district to determine the exact cost of educating a child in that district. Then issue a voucher to each parent/guardian that the parent could use to send a child to a public school, parochial school or to another private school. This would also create competition among schools and would likely improve all the schools.
What basic element of history that Talia, as a certified teacher. does not understand? Were not FOR Christ, OUR world would be just as it was in His time, and as our culture is ignoring Him, that to which it is reverting back.: brutish, short and mean.
I will continue, with my above post. Anyway– the Jews I was writing about, above, just loved to have a Christmas tree, right alongside Hannukah celebrations! Santa also brings so much joy, when visiting hospitals and nursing homes, at Christmas! I saw an old classic film last night, all about the first Christmas tree in America. A young German Lutheran minister brought the custom from Germany, and wanted to put up a Christmas tree in his parish! His parishioners were very upset and angry, thinking this to be a ridiculous, worldly, crazy, pagan custom! They were sure it would ruin Christmas forever, and ruin their church, forever, too! But it all turned out well!
Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and as some posters have correctly stated, Christmas is a Federal holiday! Our Nation and its culture, is basically Christian, and we need to return, as Americans, to our NORMAL way of life, with Christian beliefs and values! Others will always be free to do as they wish– and opt out of something they do not agree with! I will continue…
A lovely neighbor, whom I have known for many years, recently told me that she and her husband are Jehovah’s Witnesses! Then, she said that they don’t believe in celebrating Christmas! I had no idea! I was so surprised! Well, I think this nice neighbor lady and her family, simply practice their religious faith quietly, and do as I would do– let others do as they wish!! She did give me some religious literature, once, but I was always quite busy, and only just said “hello,” and that’s all! I never like to get into religious discussions, that could potentially hurt nice people! Well, perhaps she took her children out of Christmas activities, at school, when they were growing up, and simply had them do something else, at…
I will finish my above post! Such tremendous time and word limitations, for these posts! As I was saying– maybe this nice neighbor lady, took her kids out of school, when they were growing up, and had them do something else, when their school had Christmas activities! She is a good neighbor, very helpful to everyone! I wonder if Jehovah’s Witness children are not allowed to attend any Christmas school or social parties and events, or participate in musical activities, or even making Christmas cookies, and sharing them?? I wonder? Anyway, they are entitled to their beliefs, and we are entitled to ours! But let’s all be friends!
Linda Maria, my experience has been that most Jehovah’s Witness keep their children out of school on the day when Christian holidays, such as Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day are celebrated, even if it just culturally. I do not know if they do the same for Chinese New Year’s celebrations and others, and it would be too much for them to keep them out for the birthday celebrations of kindergarten children, but most of them celebrate none of these. That is why I think their is something “fishy” when the school said that one Jewish mother was the only complainer.
For some reason my posts are coming out Anonymous sometimes even though I am sure I checked the one today at 12:29 p.m. Anyway please excuse my typos, Linda Marie, in that post. — Anne T.
I have been away from this website for a while and just wanted to stop in and say Merry Christmas to all Catholics who are obedient to God.
Merry Christmas, Ski Ven, and a Blessed New Year!
I hope that your spirit will have a blessed Solemnity of Mary as well.
In the 1970’s, Sears had a commercial which said: Sears is your CHRISTMAS store ! Almost all merchants proclaimed that the holiday was CHRISTMAS. Our society is too pc, and is against JC. Today only a couple companies say MERRY CHRISTMAS; the rest say Happy Holidays. It is sad that the first attack against the real meaning of Christmas was by Clement Moore, a Protestant minister, when he wrote THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.. Ave Maria Purrissima !
Heard yesterday that Christmas is hardly observed anymore in NYC. The store fronts have no Christmas themed displays. As NYC goes, so too does the nation.