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School District May Ban Christmas and Halloween to Accommodate Muslims

Unbelievable. It appears dhimmitude knows no limits:

So long, Halloween parade. Farewell, Santa's gift shop.

The holiday traditions are facing elimination in some Oak Lawn schools this year after complaints that the activities are offensive, particularly to Muslim students.

Final decisions on which of the festivities will be axed will fall to the principals at each of Ridgeland School District 122's five schools, Supt. Tom Smyth said.

Parents expect that the announcement is going to add to the tension that has been building since officials agreed earlier this month to change the lunch menu to exclude items containing pork to accommodate Muslim students. News that Jell-O was struck from the menu caused such a stir that officials have agreed to bring it back. Gelatin is often made with tissue or bones of pigs or other animals.

That controversy now appears to have been been dwarfed by the holiday debate, which became so acrimonious Wednesday that police were called to Columbus Manor School to intervene in a shouting match among parents.

"It's difficult when you change the school's culture," said Columbus Manor Principal Sandy Robertson.

Elizabeth Zahdan, a mother of three District 122 students, says she took her concerns to the school board this month, not because she wanted to do away with the traditions, but rather to make them more inclusive. "I only wanted them modified to represent everyone," she said.

Nixing them isn't the response she was looking for. "Now the kids are not being educated about other people," she said.

Homeschooling is looking more and more attractive everyday. Hat tip to Stop the ACLU.


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Comments (25)

What now will they be after... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

What now will they be after to satisfi whinning muslims the EASTER BUNNY or THANKSGIVING TURKEYS AND PILGRIMS AND INDIANS? why should the school district give in to whinny mulim whinners? Tell them to GET A LIFE

I found this information ve... (Below threshold)

I found this information very alarming actually...

"Robertson is hoping to strike compromises that will keep traditions alive and be culturally acceptable to all students -- nearly half of whom are of Arab descent at Columbus Manor, she says. Fewer than a third of students districtwide are of Arab descent, according to Smyth."

1/3 of the students are MUSLIM in the district, or do they mean simply arab ethnicity? And if nearly 1/2 are muslim this is not an unreasonable point.

I can hear John Dewey's tee... (Below threshold)

I can hear John Dewey's teeth grinding.....public school systems are unilaterally bringing about the very result he objected to.

New private schools are popping up everywhere and home schooling has become an accepted alternative. The result is not uniformity and availabilty but division on religous and economic lines. Talk about being hoist on your own petard....

Changing the menu, that I c... (Below threshold)

Changing the menu, that I can understand. The expense of maintaining another kitchen would be insane for most schools.
But the rest... utter cowardice.

As long as 51% want the tra... (Below threshold)

As long as 51% want the traditions, they should continue. Those who don't celebrate them need not, but they shouldn't stop those who enjoy them.

When the population tips, then that new majority can decide to abolish those traditions. The minority will have to celebrate elsewhere.

Both Halloween and Christma... (Below threshold)

Both Halloween and Christmas are purely secular holidays with no actual connection to the Christian faith. The celebration of any Holy day other than than the Sabbath is also condemned in the Bible as well. It's pure ignorance for some so-callled "educators" to wrongly consider banning these secular holidays to appease some Muslim pressure group.

scsiI respectfully... (Below threshold)


I respectfully disagree. Jello should not have been totally banned just because a portion of the student body couldn't eat it. Alternatives, ok. But this is reminiscent of schools banning peanut butter sandwiches for everyone because there might be some allergic students.

It's "zero tolerance" nonsense.

Oh... goddess? a public school's "culture" is one that supposedly extends beyond that mere school. As long as Halloween and Christmas celebration (dressing up, trick-or-treating/winter deco and presents) as decidely AMERICAN social norms, it is divisive to ban recogition of the larger culture.

Not only is Halloween secul... (Below threshold)

Not only is Halloween secular, there are a great many Christians who don't celebrate it because of its pagan ties.

It amuses me when people are all upset over the "Christian" Christmas trees -- what ignorance. The trees come from the pagan history, too. (as do Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny...)

"We have to think about ... (Below threshold)

"We have to think about our purpose," Smyth said. "Are we about teaching reading, writing and math or for parties or fund-raising during the day?"

We had Halloween and Christmas parties when I was in elementary school. We exchanged homemade (in class) Valentine cards to other kids in class, too. This is part of growing up and learning to interact with projects. Why is this all of a sudden interfering with the learning process? Costumes and parties, baked goods and exchanges should be fun for young children, not regarded as paganism.

The article almost reads as... (Below threshold)

The article almost reads as a parody. It's just too colossally ridiculous to be true.

But then again we are talking politicians.

Perhaps we could also stone women for accusations of adultery in order not to offend.

Perhaps we could make all women wear burqas so as not to offend.

Perhaps we could fail to draw a line anywhere....

It seems to me that we've h... (Below threshold)

It seems to me that we've had public school cafeterias in most of the country for more than 60 years. Few if any could produce kosher meals for Jewish students, and yet the entire menu wasn't altered to accommodate them.

Of course, you never had to worry about the reaction from "the Jewish street," either . . .

It's just one more reason the government shouldn't be in the school business.

Perhaps when you move to a ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Perhaps when you move to a country, you accept their customs, or you leave and go back to your sand and savagery. Christians are not allowed to even visit Mecca. America is tolerant up to a point and then, look out.

Peanut butter can be deadly... (Below threshold)

Peanut butter can be deadly. It's not the same as banning something like Jell-o.

Anyhow, it sounds like the school acted like schools will act. At my sister's kid's school district a parent asked that her children be excused from a school trip to Harry Potter without being made to sit in detention all day and the school responded by canceling the outing all together.

The "public" and institutional nature of schools mean that common sense is not an option. Superintendents, principals and teachers can't make decisions on individual basis without opening themselves to endless argument at the least and lawsuits at the worst.

Recognizing *why* doesn't make me excuse administrators for spinelessness. My own school memories give me plenty of examples where administrators were more interested in covering their a**es than showing leadership or making a stand or having a backbone. They'd put off *any* decision just to be sure that they'd never be *wrong*.

The parent didn't want this.

The administrators took the easy way out. The way that wouldn't require working out a solution.

I should say that the schoo... (Below threshold)

I should say that the school canceled the Harry Potter movie field trip and the parent, who hadn't wanted that at *all*, got demonized on local news and radio.

According to the CIA World ... (Below threshold)

According to the CIA World factbook, %76 of Americans are Protestant or Catholic. That is to say, Christian. That is the pre-eminent culture here, and people who emigrate here must accept that. If someone is unhappy with that, maybe they would be happier somewhere else.


wait until the muslims beco... (Below threshold)

wait until the muslims become the majority and then you will see what tolerance will be like!

I don't even know where to ... (Below threshold)

I don't even know where to begin. My first thought, which has been addressed, is that Jewish kids have NEVER been considered when menus are chosen. I lived in Peabody, Mass. at one point, which has a large Jewish population. We did have Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah off, but never was a kosher meal offered.

As a Christian, I understand the pagan (and frankly, somewhat demonic) aspect of Halloween. Our kids go trick-or-treating, but we choose costumes which are not scary or ghoulish. We also give out lollipops at our house with "Jesus Loves You" stickers on the handle. Our neighborhood ships in kids by the vanload, because we live in a rural area, and many houses are spaced far apart - we also have no streetlights, so our neighborhood is basically shut down for trick-or-treaters. We decided to keep our home open and have a positive message rather than shut off the lights and "pray for them sinners" :)

Many families we know do not celebrate Halloween, and we respect that. However, if their kids are in public school, they choose to keep them home on Halloween if there is to be a celebration which they feel infringes upon their Christian beliefs.

Ok, all of that said - the pendulum swings any further with all of this Muslim Tolerance stuff and we all WILL be forced to wear burkas. At least in the case of Britney Spears she won't have any more crotch-showing mishaps, but the rest of us will suffer greatly at the waterparks and beaches.

Why should we tolerate and bend to the needs of Muslims yet leave the Jews to bring a bagged kosher lunch? Not cool. If you want to start bending and breaking and revising, it should be across the board or not at all.

For those of you who don't know me, I should also mention that I teach for the public school system at the adult level, but also HOMESCHOOL MY KIDS because I do not believe in a lot of the things that are going on. That's always a great choice, folks - it sends a message to the government that we aren't going to take their nonsense sitting down.

I heard a story - maybe someone can find it for me - a hardline liberal was asked if she was concerned that conservatives are having a lot more kids than liberals. Her response? "They can have as many kids as they want. Once we get them in the public schools, we'll turn them into liberals."

Ain't that the truth.

'Oh my goodness! The cafet... (Below threshold)
Mikey NTH:

'Oh my goodness! The cafeteria is serving jell-o! Whatever shall we do!'

Umm, has anybody tried brownbagging it like I did as a kid? You don't have to eat the cafeteria food, you know. And the fact that I am pointing this out boggles my mind.

All Americans should submit... (Below threshold)
TellEveryone Author Profile Page:

All Americans should submit to ISLAM. This is the same thing that happen in Germany during the Nazi reign. Slowly taking away freedoms. Why do we put up with this. When in there country they would execute you for carrying a Bible. Did you know that since 9/11, there have been 9000 attacks across the globe in the name of Islam and Muslims. Did you know a large percentage of Muslims in America were polled and would support terror to further there Religion. Saudia Arabia is buying up American land and building there Mosques here where they teach the children, there extreme form of ISLAM. Do you know there are Muslim Wilderness Camps all over America as of today. Sounds of explosion and gun fire can be heard by the locals. They are laughing at us because we have become a land of submissive left liberals. We would of lost WW2 with the people that we have today.

I really getting ... (Below threshold)
Jerry Murphy:

I really getting tired of this crap. Over the last 250 years, millions of immigrants came to the U.S. and they had to adapt to their new country. My parents came over here from Ireland. No one conformed to suit their needs. They as immigrants had to conform to the ways of their new country. Why do we continue to adapt to the needs of today's Mexican & Arab immigrants? You can't call anywhere today without hearing "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish." I sick of it. If people chose to live in America, they should adapt to America, not America adapting to them.

Oh my gosh. I would first l... (Below threshold)
Brady Palmer:

Oh my gosh. I would first like to point out that Spurwing Plover made a very rude and ignorant comment about Muslims.

Next, the whole lunch thing...Who cares? I mean, does anyone REALLY eat that nasty flavorless stuff? I don't see the big deal with taking it off the menu.

Last, the holiday deal. If a school is delirious enough to believe it can do away with holidays, it is wrong. Anyone, Christians or Muslims, should be able to celebrate any holiday they want.

This is an example of our society's ignorance.

Excuse me but wasn't Christ... (Below threshold)
Douglas Kidwell:

Excuse me but wasn't Christmas here in America before Muslims even set foot in this nation? I thought those who came to America "legally" were to assimulate to our culture, traditions, values, and way of life...not the other way around! "Freedom of Religion" has been taken hostage and spinned around to suit those who do not honor & respect the foundation of America.

1. Shame on the school district for even considering such an outlandish proposistion!
2. Shame on city officials for not stepping up & squashing this down right now!
3. To the Muslims...with all due respect your religion did not build America. Though there are those who will disagree, America was built on Christiananity. Look at our Constitution...Look at our National Monuments & Federal buildings in Washington D.C....Look at our currency! If you don't like it, well, tough...you are free to leave!

Any Muslem that wants to ba... (Below threshold)
Edward Tantsits:

Any Muslem that wants to ban Christmas - Get the hell out of the US. You live here by our Standards

I am a parent of two kids i... (Below threshold)

I am a parent of two kids in district 122. Please everyone listen to what I have to say. The media is making it sound like it is only fair that we add Ramadan because we celebrate Christmas in school. This is false we do not celebrate Christmas. We have a winter celebration. We never speak about Jesus or the real meaning of Christmas during our class parties. We simply celebrate a season and American traditions. Religion is never brought into it.

My son came home today and told me that they had started a lesson on Ramadan in school. They talked about Ramadan and then they were instructed to write down three things you do not do during Ramadan. We have just added religion to our school. I want everyone to know that we do not have a Christmas celebration. The children are not exposed to any other religions in school. The school has added Ramadan to it's curriculum but no other religious holidays.

We need to have a protest. We have to stop this. If we do not stop it here, it will be in your public school as well in no time. We have to stand for what is right, together they do not stand a chance at getting away with this.

If I am correct I believe T... (Below threshold)

If I am correct I believe The catholics and other braches of christianity has one thing in common. We are all christians. America was founded on christianity. I love to see the younger children learning about the story of Jesus in public schools. The poeple trying to take Christmas away from us can just leave America. I am not going to change my true and real religious beliefs to please another religion. Merry Christmas America and may God's blessings be rained upon you. Keep fichting the non christians, we can do it. "With Christ all things are possible" (Mark 10:27) May God be with all who support my side of this issue.






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