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Christmas activities are protected rights

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At this time of year, educators, administrators, parents and students are concerned about celebrating Christmas at school. I read an article in Home Life Magazine that answers questions about specific Christmas activities.
Can we include religious music in our school assemblies and programs? Yes, Christmas carols are still legal. In Lynch vs. Donnelly, 1984, the Supreme Court noted “Christmas hymns and carols in public schools” are one of the legitimate forms of taking official note of Christmas and our religious heritage.
Can students distribute Christmas cards to their friends at school during non-class time? Yes, the Constitution protects students’ rights to give greetings that focus on the joy of Christ’s birth.
Can students distribute tracts on the “true meaning of Christmas” to their friends during non-class time? Yes, students do not shed their First Amendment freedoms of speech or free exercise of religion at the schoolhouse gate (Tinker vs. Des Moines School District – 1969).
Can religious symbols be used in school decorations? Yes, Florey vs. Sioux Falls School District, 1984, says religious symbols can be displayed in classes as examples of cultural or religious heritage, provided the display is temporary as part of the academy program.
For more information, contact The American Center for Law and Justice, P.O. Box 90555, Washington, D.C., 20090-0555 (800) 296-4529.

Linda Bell
Lancaster