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Principal Placed on Leave After Demanding Teachers Not Celebrate Christmas in the Classroom

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A principal found out the hard way that the parents of Elkhorn, Nebraska, would not go along with her proposed ban on Christmas in the classroom.

As a result, Manchester Elementary School Principal Jennifer Sinclair was suspended by the Elkhorn school district after issuing a memo prohibiting a vast number of Christmas-related symbols.

Any representation of Santa, Christmas trees, “Elf on the Shelf,” Christmas carols, Christmas music, candy canes and reindeer, homemade ornament gifts, Christmas movies and red-and-green items were all banned according to the memo, which Sinclair signed, “The (Unintentional) Grinch who stole Christmas.”

The memo reserved a special condemnation of candy canes. “The shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus. The red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection. This will also include different colored candy canes,” Sinclair wrote in justifying her position.

Parents and teachers who wanted their Christmas back contacted the First Amendment group Liberty Counsel.

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“We sent a demand letter to the Elkhorn School District last Friday demanding a response by close of business this past Monday. The School District attorney responded and advised that the action of Principal Sinclair was contrary to school district policy,” said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, according to CNN.

Staver said Sinclair’s memo was the “most unique and I would say outrageous example” of Christmas-related censorship he has seen.

He called it “blatantly unconstitutional.”

“I don’t see how anyone could have claimed ignorance and claimed this was required by church-and-state law,” Staver said.

He said the school’s response went beyond what had been requested.

“While we did not ask for Principal Sinclair to be placed on administrative leave, we did believe she should apologize and that the situation be corrected immediately,” Staver said.

Do you think the school district went too far with its punishment?

District spokeswoman Kara Perchal said Sinclair was placed on administrative leave, according to the Omaha World-Herald.  The school district did note that it has a Christmas policy that runs contrary to Sinclair’s memo.

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The policy said, “Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and Easter eggs and bunnies are considered to be secular, seasonal symbols and may be displayed as teaching aids provided they do not disrupt the instructional program for students.”

In a letter to parents, Sinclair said she made a mistake, Fox News reported.

“I love the Manchester staff and our students,” she said. “It is an honor to serve as the principal at Manchester Elementary.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
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