Austin, TX, December 11, 2013 – Today, Texas Values announces an important update to the Frisco ISD Christmas controversy that generated outrage by concerned Frisco parents and resulted in national media coverage. Texas Values confirmed (yesterday) that the school PTA has informed parents that “Christmas” and red/green colors will not be banned. Late last month, a PTA email from Nichols Elementary in Frisco ISD was sent out with “rules” for the “winter party” that included a ban on “reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday and “no red/green or Christmas trees.” Texas House Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) was informed of this email and quickly helped local residents address this issue with the help of the new Merry Christmas Law (more details here and here).
Then, last week, after local and statewide concern over this attempted ban on Christmas grow, Frisco ISD released a statement on this issue. The Frisco ISD statement reads in part:
“…Individuals are free to call the winter holiday party whatever they want – holiday party, winter party, Christmas party, etc…Individual parents and /or students may, but are not requested by the district to, bring items to the parties that say “Christmas,” “Merry Christmas,” or depict a religious picture or saying (regardless of the particular religion). If they desire to bring something red or green, even if it does not comply with the party theme, they are welcome to do so.”
It has now come to our attention this week that the Nichols Elementary School PTA shared the following statement with school families that reads in part:
“Nichols PTA categorically denies any stance denying our students and families their right to celebrate any winter holiday…Mrs. Murphy, our principal, also spoke at our November 19, 2013 PTA meeting stating that all holidays may be celebrated and represented in our school. She specifically stated that the phrase, “Merry Christmas” and any other traditional holiday phrase is permitted and encouraged at Nichols Elementary.”
In response, Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz released the following statement:
“It’s good to finally know that it’s okay to say Merry Christmas in Frisco schools. Thankfully, parents in Frisco were informed of their rights and their local Texas House Rep. Pat Fallon took the right action to protect his constituents’ right to acknowledge Christmas. We hope other school districts in Texas can learn from this situation and ensure that freedom is protected.”
Additionally, Rep. Fallon has also been assured by Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon that Frisco ISD will be in full compliance with the law. Rep. Fallon plans to tour Frisco schools tomorrow.
“It is good to have the leadership in Texas at the legislature who care enough about the Constitution to ensure freedom remains alive in our schools,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute. Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization dedicated solely to defending and restoring religious liberty in America and is headquartered in North Texas.
At MerryChristmasTexas.com, Texans can educate themselves about their rights under the Merry Christmas Law, download a summary of the law and share it with their school district, sign a petition in support, and report how their schools are acknowledging Christmas.
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