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Subject: Christmas in school rss

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Guido Van Horn
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Othello
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I work in a K-5 Elementary. My principal is calling a big meeting to discuss Christmas at our school. Our community is small, pretty religious and Christian. Other than the handful of Jehovah Witness children there is not a community that doesn’t at least celebrate the secular side (Santa, gifts and Snow persons) of Christmas.

I personally don’t do anything in my classroom for any holiday. I don’t decorate or even talk about whatever is going on, partly because I put my energies elsewhere and partly because of the nature of my position as a specialist. I have a program and I don’t have time for distractions.

I was just wondering what the schools do and don’t do around your community with major religious holidays that may be culturally significant.



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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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My daughter spent her whole school career in one system. The city had a pretty large Jewish contingent, so their Christmas activities were "mostly" secular, with the exception of some choral stuff. The holiday schedule was different than other school systems around Cleveland in order to accommodate both faiths. I never remember seeing too much in the way of decorations either way actually.
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Neil Carr
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We have a holiday family meal every December. The decorations are Chistmasy, but not explicit, and students get money to purchase gifts for caregivers and family.

The holidays are often hard on our students due to things like being in a residential facility, or tramautizing family members being about, so we are always trying to navigate complicated expectations around this time of the year.
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Jorge Montero
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St Louis
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My son's school private school just celebrates everything. There's christians of various denominations, jews, muslims, hindi and buddhists. They all get to celebrate holidays in school as they please. They'd celebrate satanism if a family thought it was important to them.

It's putting one religion as a school-sponsored truth that is iffy for me. A child that doesn't learn that religions exists will have trouble understanding how humanity works, but there's enough in your typical school's curriculum regarding America as a religion that I don't want to lay Christianity on top.
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Moshe Callen
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Religious education here is pretty intense. So they do stuff for all the Jewish holidays. They also seem to observe holidays on minority Jewish communities from what I've seen with my daughter. Her school seems to have also at least told them something about some Muslim holidays as well.
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Jasper
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At my children's school they decorate the place, have a Christmas tree and everything, but they don't focus a lot on the religious aspects. It's what we call a 'public' school, which means it has no single religious affiliation. We also have a Catholic school and a Protestant school nearby, and especially the latter is a lot more serious about the religious angle, up to the point of doing prayer in class etc. The catholic school is pretty laid back about religion as well, pretty much Catholic in name only.

I'm pretty sure all schools teach about religion in general and the interesting point of the mayor religions as part of the curriculum.

All schools have to be open to all comers, and cannot discriminate on the basis of religion (or any other criteria except capacity). Interestingly, the Protestant school used to* attract the most Muslim children (there is no Muslim school in the city), on the basis that any religion is better then no religion.


* it closed 2 years ago because to few new children registered.
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G Rowls
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Holidays? Christmas? What next asking for more thin gruel? They should be up a chimmney someplace!
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Junior McSpiffy
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My daughter said the teacher just put "A Christmas Story" on a DVD player, went back to her desk, and started drinking something out of a flask mumbling "I can make it to Christmas break" over and over.

Not sure that counts as "celebrating," per se.
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mortego
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We do a fundraiser called "Kids Helping Kids", all the kids get together in groups and set up kiosks in the hallway in front of their rooms and sell candy, popcorn, hot dogs, whatever...the money then goes to the charity. We also do a big assemble where teachers compete in "Minute to Win It" activities (lots of fun) and then the elementary chorus has an informal concert but not all the songs are Christmas songs but a few are.

The office has a huge Christmas Tree up in the lobby with lights & bulbs but no religious symbols.

Then we have a 12 day break during the holidays.

The community is small, semi-rural, and red without a doubt, you can feel it the moment you walk in the school.
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