Asks schools reconsider holidays

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 21, 2014 

I believe current Ferndale School District policies regarding the celebration of our Christmas holidays are short-sided. At the risk of offending a few, the end result has been a total disregard for the traditions of the vast majority of our community. I've been an educator in the Ferndale School District for 34 years and I've seen many changes, some good and some not so good. I believe this one is a bad one. In some of our schools, "holiday" concerts were not performed and decorations all but disappeared creating a sanitized environment devoid of any reference to the season. Since when does a flea on the tail wag the dog? We need to remember that the federal government includes Christmas as one of its official holidays. It recognizes and acknowledges the secular aspects of the holiday. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that the celebration of holidays is to be a reflection of the values and traditions of a community. The goals should be inclusion and not exclusion. Whether it is Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza, public schools should have the freedom to celebrate all their cultural traditions.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that 92 percent of all Americans celebrated Christmas last month as has been done for generations. I encourage the school board and administrators to re-examine their policies regarding our holiday traditions so that we don't go down this road again.

Herbert G. Porter

Ferndale

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