USA: Religious group opposes Christmas carols ‘ban’ in school district
The superintendent at Bordentown Regional School District in New Jersey, USA, was reported by Charisma News to have “banned any and all religious music in the December concerts the district’s elementary schools normally hold”.
According to Charisma News, the superintendent at Bordentown Regional School District made a public statement that “religious music should not be part of the elementary program[s]” and “decided to ban religious Christmas music during winter concert performances at elementary schools within the district.”
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter on 30 October 2013 to the Bordentown Regional School District explaining that “the ban is both unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
“We urge the Bordentown Regional School District to rescind this new policy and permit religious music to be included among the many nonreligious songs performed at school concerts,” wrote Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Misinformation about the First Amendment is frequently what leads to censorship of constitutionally permissible and culturally significant songs performed during Christmas concerts,” Charisma News quoted senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco as saying.
Incident in Wausau
Washington Times reported that a similar ban nearly took place at a public school in Wausau, Wis., where district officials proposed that the number of religious songs in holiday shows be cut down. Phil Buch, the chair of Wausau West High School protested by temporarily disbanding the school’s Master Singers music ensemble.
Local media reported the story but it eventually made its way into national news. With the weight of national attention and anger the school board backed down and permitted the director’s original choices of music for now. The student choir began practicing its music again, and the Alliance Defending Freedom claimed victory.
Charisma News – 29 October 2013:
NJ School District Wages War on Christmas, Bans Carols
By Melanie Korb
Washington Times – 31 October 2013:
School ban on religious carols draws challenge
‘Constitutional line’ has been crossed. Article by Matthew Lounsberry