Season’s greetings are the talk of the town these days in Texas. The state passed HB 308, legislation referred to as “The Merry Christmas Law,” back in June. It, in part, states that “A school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations including (1) “Merry Christmas”; (2) “Happy Hanukkah”; and (3) “happy holidays.” I, uh, guess they forgot Kwanza. KDFW Fox 4 News is reporting that Texas State Representative Pat Fallon (R) thinks a Texas school is running afoul of this law.
The source of consternation is a party being thrown for students by Gene and Ruby Nichols Elementary School in Frisco. Apparently a PTA member, without approval, sent out rules regarding what they referred to as a “winter party.” KDFW acquired the email and it reads:
The Winter Party Rules…1) No reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday
2) No red/green or Christmas Trees
3) Nothing that will stain the carpet (red juice, dark colored icing, etc.)
Outrageous! No red juice??? So, what the kids can’t drink punch? Unbelievable! Oh, and the other two rules seem quite pushy. Representative Fallon, co-author of HB 308, thinks it’s silly, “We’re celebrating Christmas, so why can’t it be a ‘Christmas party’ or maybe a ‘holiday party?’ But they skipped over ‘holiday’ and gone to ‘winter.’ That’s, you know, political correctness gone too far.”
After hearing about the rules, Fallon told KDFW he spoke with Frisco Independent School District Superintendent Jeremy Lyon, and was told the rules are not, “district policy.” He was also told by the PTA that kids could indeed say, “merry Christmas.”
However! Representative Fallon then got another email that said the PTA was going to keep the rules, because they didn’t want to “offend any families and since each family donates money they feel this is the best policy…”
It seems like it’s uncertain what exactly is going on. KDFW got a response from the school district, which read, “The school was unaware of this and it was not an official PTA correspondence either. There have never been any limitations on what students wear, what they bring to share with their classmates on party days... what greetings people exchange with each other." This contradicts the email Fallon’s source sent him. We’ll have to see what actually happens with this party.