"The Christmas tree, while a secular symbol according to the Supreme Court, does symbolize Christmas, and if you are entering a public school and your family does not celebrate Christmas, then it feels like a religious symbol."
Christian legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel got involved and sent a letter to Zundel, to further educate her about the law.
The good news here is that the principal reversed her earlier decision. In an e-mail to a Liberty Counsel supporter, she wrote:
"I am pleased to report that as a result of our community meeting last week, a Giving Tree once again decorates the halls of Bellview Elementary School. It is a Southern Oregon Peco Pine. Fortunately, this incident never interfered with the project. The 25 families will receive gifts and food for the holidays. Ironically, the reason I removed the tree was to create a greater
sense of inclusion in our school. That decision had exactly the opposite effect. As a leader, I have an ongoing responsibility to reflect on the results of my actions, consider diverse feedback and occasionally, change course."
people in authority that attempting to placate one or a select few individuals could result in offending a much larger number. This is the case so often with the celebration of Christmas. In addition to the constitutional issues, to remove expressions of the holiday could bring a
far greater outcry from people who do celebrate it (and studies show that 9 out
of 10 Americans do!!).
And, isn't it interesting that this year we are hearing about secular symbols, such as Christmas trees and Santa Claus, being limited. This is a result of clear misunderstanding about the law, mixed with officials being intimidated by the fear of either a lawsuit or the complaints of a select few parents. Thankfully, education about these issues regarding Christmas can help to empower officials.
We now look forward to my children enthusiastically celebrating "Christmas" holidays!!