An Arkansas school district is warning teachers not to decorate their classrooms with anything that might make a student feel uncomfortable or not included.
“When we choose to decorate or celebrate any specific tradition, be it the Christian Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or any other tradition, we run the risk of creating an environment where a student does not feel comfortable or included,” read a letter written by John Colbert, the superintendent of Fayetteville Public Schools. “This is unacceptable.”
I’m sure it was just a coincidence that the Nov. 29th letter was sent to principals and school leaders just before Christmas and not before a Muslim holiday.
Colbert warned teachers in his letter that any decoration that offended a child was a violation of a school board policy that states, “No religious belief or non-belief should be promoted by the school district or its employees, and none shall be disparaged.”
A Starnes Country viewer in Fayetteville reached out to me expressing her extreme concerns about what teachers interpreted as a ban on Christmas décor of any kind.
“They are also banning Angel trees from all campuses,” the viewer said. “Staff are not allowed to help families in need during the Christmas season.”
I asked the school district about the alleged ban on Angel trees, but they did not respond to my questions.
“While Fayetteville has traditionally been a liberal city, over the past decade there has been even more of a shift toward the PC and liberal culture,” the viewer told me. “
The school district’s letter to principals was, quite frankly, confusing. On the one hand they encouraged teachers to celebrate the season with “winter decorations.”
But on the other hand, they threatened teachers if they did not provide “an inclusive and safe environment.”
According to the district policy, religious holidays may be “taught in the public schools, but they may not be celebrated.”
What does that even mean?
It sounds to me like the school district is trying to confuse teachers by parsing the policies. It’s as if they are telling teachers, “Go ahead, put up the Christmas tree, but if an atheist complains you’ll be looking for a new job.”
Mr. Colbert’s letter is a classic example of a lefttwing educator using his authority to bully and badger Christian teachers.
Bah humbug, sir.