Today reports surfaced that a staffer at Patterson Middle School in Killeen, TX was forced to have her Christmas door decorations torn down by the school’s principal because they were “an issue of separation of church and state.” Ms. Shannon, who is on staff at Patterson Middle School, decorated the nurse’s office door with a scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas with a direct quote from Linus, when Linus tells Charlie Brown about the religious history of Christmas.
Ms. Shannon placed the decorations on Dec 5th, and on Dec 7th the principal told Ms. Shannon that the drawing of the Linus character and symbol could stay, but Linus’s quote referencing the religious history of Christmas that included the word “Christ” had to be removed.
“This kind of outrageous attack on Christmas is exactly why the Texas “Merry Christmas Law” was passed in 2013 – to protect the Constitutional rights of students, parents and staff. The public school principal in this case has directly attacked, banned and censored a reference to the religious history of Christmas while allowing a secular symbol to remain. This outrageous religious discrimination is a violation of the First Amendment and a direct violation of state law and must be stopped. The school should apologize immediately and allow the full display to go back up,” said Jonathan Saenz, attorney for Texas Values.
Details on the law and our “Merry Christmas Texas Project” to educate Texans on the law can be found at MerryChristmasTexas.com.
In 2013 the Texas Legislature passed the Merry Christmas law (Texas Education Code 29.920) which guarantees the freedom of children, teachers, parents, and school administrators to acknowledge Christmas on school grounds without fear of censorship, persecution, or litigation.