Texas School Shows How to Be Merry

Nichols Elementary School in Frisco, Texas wants a do-over. They are claiming the media and certain groups have misrepresented them and are mistaken about their Christmas spirit. Indeed, a local news report is sharing the Christmas merriment on display at the school this week:

At Nichols Elementary, cross guards wear festive hats and letters to Santa line the hallways.

“There are decorations in the cafeteria, like Christmas trees, a little menorah, and snowmen,” said student Taylor Heath.

Thus, it’s somewhat puzzling how the school became a symbol in the so-called “War on Christmas.”

The confusion stems from a pre-event email sent by a PTA organizer who was evidently modeling this year’s Christmas at the school to guidelines used in the past. On Nov. 19, a meeting was held to discuss the party planning and the new law was explained, school officials said. But in the meantime, the email was being forwarded to Pat Fallon (Author of Texas’ Merry Christmas Bill) and others and word spread that Frisco was banning Christmas in the classroom.

The Nichols situation was not fairly presented, Frisco schools spokeswoman Shana Wortham said. “It was being taken out of context and it was really an unfortunate thing,” Wortham said. “This poor mom just feels terrible.” Frisco officials didn’t know there was a concern at Nichols until Fallon informed them, she said.

A meeting is being held tonight, sponsored by a conservative group, to discuss the matter. While the situation has been resolved, the conservative group Women on the Wall is holding the meeting to discuss the issue with the community.

Alice Linahan, a board member of the conservative group Women on the Wall, said the meeting is not to attack the district or to raise money off the issue, as some have suggested groups are doing. She said it is an opportunity to discuss the related state law and other education issues of concern.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Linahan said. “We want to weed that out and not let the media drive the message one way or another and inform parents.”

In attendance will be state Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco, who co-authored the “Merry Christmas” bill. The legislation passed this year allows students and staff to offer traditional Christmas, Hanukkah or other holiday greetings and allows for displaying symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations.

“We have to draw a line in the sand — it is a Christmas break we’re having,” Fallon said. “We are not taking a break just because it’s winter. Can’t a Christmas tree be a Christmas tree and a menorah be a menorah?”

It appears this situation is coming around to a peaceful resolution. No word yet on if out-of-state groups such as the FFRF will challenge what has transpired.

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