Principal Bans Santa, Christmas Carols, Candy Canes & Jesus

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The principal of Manchester Elementary School in Elkhorn, Nebraska is on Santa’s naughty list.

Jennifer Sinclair sent a letter to teachers announcing a ban on Christmas — for the sake of inclusiveness.

“Please remember that we are not to be doing any Christmas or holiday-specific themed activities with students,” she wrote in the letter. “Santa and Christmas items are not to be on activities or copies. We have varied religious beliefs in our school, and it is our job to be inclusive.”

Principal Sinclair banned Christmas trees and Christmas carols, Santa Claus and Elf on the Shelf.

Candy Canes were also off limits because the principal said “the shape is ‘J’ for Jesus.


“The red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection,” she wrote.

Also deemed not acceptable:

  • Singing Christmas Carols
  • Playing Christmas music
  • Making a Christmas ornament as a gift
  • Christmas clipart
  • Reading Christmas-themed books (sorry, Tiny Tim)
  • The colors red and green
  • Reindeer
  • Christmas movies (So long, Frosty)

Yes, good readers, the principal banned the reason for the season.

Liberty Counsel, a public policy organization dedicated to religious liberty issues, fired off a letter to Elkhorn Public Schools warning them that the principal’s Christmas ban was unconstitutional.


“The ban violates the U.S. Constitution by showing hostility toward Christianity,” attorney Robert Mast wrote. “The principal appears to have conflated her own values and preferences with the law.”

And as Liberty Counsel pointed out, the First Amendment does not require the elimination of all Christmas symbols – religious or secular.

“The effort to comprehensively eliminate Christmas symbols is Orwellian,” Mast concluded.

The school district investigated the matter and determined that Principal Sinclair’s memorandum to teachers violated district policy. They quickly reversed course meaning Santa Claus is once again welcome in the classroom.

One final note, the principal had also issued a list of acceptable seasonal decorations including Yetis, penguins, polar bears and Olaf – a character from the movie “Frozen.”


She also permitted teachers to decorate with “gingerbread people” and “snow people” and snowflakes.

That certainly seems to be appropriate — seeing how there appears to be lots of snowflakes in the Elkhorn school system.

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