Elf Trouble in Boston Schools

Elf Trouble in Boston Schools

Such a sad tale of woe. A Boston-area parent, Deborah Seri, logged a complaint with the Superintendent of schools in Milford, Massachusetts because her daughter was exposed to an Elf on the Shelf in her classroom.

“My daughter was the only one in the class who didn’t celebrate Christmas,” Seri said. “It made her feel awkward; it made her feel like she was the only one.”

So the school board responded by promising to take a look at district policy regarding Christmas decorations, symbols, and displays in public schools.

This comes only after having changed the policy just last summer. Among the new restrictions: Religious symbols or displays were not permitted in public spaces, in spaces visible from the outside of the school, or on teacher-generated materials, except those related to curriculum on religion or culture.

That Elf on the Shelf, you know, is such a world-wide religious symbol.

Now they are going at it again this summer. And nobody, it seems, is happy.

Gee, we wonder why.

Last Christmas, staff in the school district was paranoid about what they could and could not do during the holidays. Cafeteria workers at a high school circulated a petition in December to fight for holiday decorations in the cafeteria — annual decorations that were now prohibited. So many people complained, in fact, that the school board promised to take up the policy again this summer.

The district has come up with an even more restrictive policy proposal this time around.

Committee member Scott Harrison said during the May meeting that Milford is a town of religious diversity and that a policy like the one facing approval is not inclusive of minority religions, but rather exclusive of all religions.

“This seems to be a solution in search of a problem. I understand that there has been, at least to my knowledge, a complaint that has come through, and I get that and we want to be respectful,” he said. “This seems to have a lot of exclusionary language that goes along with it.”

The policy, Harrison said, is too open to interpretation about what constitutes a religious symbol or religious holiday.

In other words, all anyone has to do is claim that ANY symbol favors a certain religion — and all hell will break loose. Even though the Supreme Court has said time and time again that Santa, snowmen, Christmas trees and other such iconic elements of Christmas are, in fact, secular the new policy in Milford would make anything — the color RED — an offense.

People on both sides of the argument do agree — this policy would effectively ban Santa Claus.

And that would push Milford to the forefront of the War on Christmas in 2017.

Someone would take that to court.

And Milford would lose in court.

Watch how fast things change once the threat of lawsuits and money gets involved.

Then you’ll see real principled action.

It happens every time.

South Carolina PTA Boots Santa for Being Religious

South Carolina PTA Boots Santa for Being Religious

Here we go: another absurd, ill-informed and sadly wrong PTA has kicked Santa Claus from school pictures at a public school in South Carolina.

The reason? Because they want kids of all religious backgrounds to be included in the pictures. Santa is being replaced by a “winter wonderland” scene.

Santa is religious?

Show me where Santa is in the Bible, will you? Tell me where Santa has ever given a sermon, said a prayer or uttered a religious thought.

The Supreme Court LONG AGO declared Santa — and Rudolph and Frosty and other characters of Christmas — SECULAR.

Don’t mistaken this for mere political correctness. This is BLATANT religious discrimination. What the PTA in this school is doing is saying “If it can be remotely associated with Christianity, we’ll ban it.” That’s what this is.

It isn’t a War on Christmas. It is a War on Christians.

Get this right. Pictures of the kids are not taken with Jesus. Not a cross either. For years they have done it with SANTA CLAUS. Now they are saying Santa is “too religious”.

That’s an attack, folks.

According to the media reports there have only been mixed reactions to this news.

We don’t believe that for one second. People should be OUTRAGED.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of High School Nativity Scene

Federal Court Rules in Favor of High School Nativity Scene

One of the biggest skirmishes in the 2015 War on Christmas has taken an unexpected turn as a federal court ruled in favor of an Indiana high school’s inclusion of a static Nativity scene in their annual Christmas concert.

Both the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation brought the suit against the school when they say they were contacted by a local resident who complained about it. The annual production has been a tradition in the community of Elkhart, Indiana for years without complaint.

As the suit was brought forward officials at Concord High School scrambled to make what they felt should have been acceptable changes by adding Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs and changing the controversial Nativity scene from a live production to static images. But the FFRF in particular balked noting that the Nativity scene and depiction of Jesus Christ were “…coercive, representing an endorsement of religion by the high school and the school corporation, having no secular purpose and has the principal purpose and effect of advancing religion.”

The court ruled that the changes to the production of the Nativity scene did not in fact constitute a violation of the Constitution’s establishment clause.

This debate seems silly to almost anyone who has even read the Constitution. The so-called “Establishment Clause” forbids Congress from establishing a state religion. A high school is not Congress and showing a Nativity scene does not establish anything.

But America has fallen into a trap of political correctness when it comes to cases like these. Because a school is a government run operation the assumption is that if a school depicts or participates in anything religious it is a violation of the Establishment Clause.

The FFRF has threatened schools and school districts nationwide for several years now working to get not only Nativity scenes but even the most remotely religious Christmas carols of antiquity banned from public schools. In most cases, school districts have opted to comply rather than to fight costly lawsuits.

The case is ongoing and the local school district is still facing possible fines for Nativity scenes depicted in previous productions dating back nearly five decades.

FFRF and ACLU Join Forces to Sue Indiana School

FFRF and ACLU Join Forces to Sue Indiana School

The community uprising witnessed in Elkhart, Indiana last month has failed to stop a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the ACLU. The two organizations have pooled resources to fight public will and the expressed sentiments of a local school board defending the performance.

Their argument is that the Nativity portion of the performance is unconstitutional and “illegal”. Even though the event is entirely voluntary the fact that it is sponsored by the high school is reason enough for courts to declare the event improper.

”The Nativity scene and the story of the birth of Jesus are, of course, well-recognized symbols of the Christian faith,” the plaintiffs wrote in the complaint, filed Wednesday. “Their presence at the Christmas Spectacular is coercive, represents an endorsement of religion by the high school and the school corporation, has no secular purpose and has the principal purpose and effect of advancing religion.”

The scene traditionally fills the final 15 minutes of a long program that features music of both a sacred and secular nature.

Last month the local school board responded to the FFRF threat of a lawsuit by saying, in part, “As always, if a student or parent finds objectionable any portion of the Spectacular, or any school assignment for that matter, that student is free to opt out of the performance or assignment. Many students have chosen to do so in the past. The Nativity Scene participation is purely voluntary and is rehearsed only after school hours. It provides historical context to the entire holiday season and is a small portion of a two hour long performance. The Spectacular also traditionally includes secular, holiday musical favorites, such as Jingle Bells, Let It Snow and Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. For more than 30 years, the Spectacular has been an important part of the Concord High School holiday experience. It will continue to be so.”

Interestingly, this lawsuit comes on the heels of another one lost by the FFRF in Franklin County, Indiana arguing about the illegality of nativity scenes on public property.

Indiana School Board Appears Ready to Fight for Nativity

Indiana School Board Appears Ready to Fight for Nativity

The Superintendent of Concord Community Schools in Elkhart, Indiana, John Trout, gave a rousing statement of support after a large public showing against the efforts of the FFRF to quell performance of a live nativity at an annual Christmas concert put on by a local high school. The event has a 30-year tradition.

He said:

“At the outset, let me state unequivocally that Concord Community Schools disagrees with the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s assertion and demand that any school celebration occurring during the Christmas holiday season must be purely secular. That is not an accurate statement of the law. Decades ago, beloved music department chair, Joe Beickman began the Spectacular, modeling it on Radio City Music Hall’s annual performance, after the high school band attended a performance following the band’s participation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. As always, if a stuent or parent finds objectionable any portion of the Spectacular, or any school assignment for that matter, that student is free to opt out of the performance or assignment. Many students have chosen to do so in the past. The Nativity Scene participation is purely voluntary and is rehearsed only after school hours. It provides historical context to the entire holiday season and is a small portion of a two hour long performance. The Spectacular also traditionally includes secular, holiday musical favorites, such as Jingle Bells, Let It Snow and Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. For more than 30 years, the Spectacular has been an important part of the Concord High School holiday experience. It will continue to be so.
Concord Schools possesses well-established processes that allow anyone who is concerned about a course, textbook or educator to address that concern with school leadership. Concord Schools will not engage in a public media fight when outside organizations choose to contact media outlets, presumably for ulterior motives, instead of following those established procedures. To become involved in such a frenzy would not benefit our students in any fashion.”

Local sources indicate that hundred of people and several news stations were at the event held tonight.

Elkhart Rallies Around Concord High for Nativity

Elkhart Rallies Around Concord High for Nativity

The forces are gathering in Elkhart, Indiana to fight to keep a Christmas tradition alive. As we reported last week, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is pulling their annual stunt of claiming a local unnamed resident has complained about religious elements in an annual Christmas concert event sponsored by a local high school — in this case, Concord High School in Elkhart, Indiana. The FFRF says to remove that part of the program or they will sue the school district.

Since then more than 6000 individuals have joined a Facebook group in support of keeping the concert as it has been and fundraisers have begun selling green t-shirts that say “The Nativity is a biblical story. A story filled with lessons that are relevant to all of us. At the core of the Nativity are illustrations of Love, Compassion, Peace, and Respect. These values are universal in nature… they are relevant to everyone.”

The FFRF has told the school district the Nativity portion of the performance is “illegal” and “inappropriate.” They claim that allowing religious music and messaging at the concert violates the separation between Church and State and that such is unconstitutional.

Concord High supporters need to answer the FFRF with a little schooling of their own:

1. They can perform whatever they want and that is protected by the First Amendment.

2. The Constitution says NOTHING about the separation of Church and State. The constitution prohibits CONGRESS from establishing a state religion. A school singing at Christmas hardly constitutes establishing a religion. It’s a concert, not a baptism.

3. Anyone who feels the content of the Christmas program is inappropriate is advised to simply not attend.

This, of course, is not about separating Church and State. This is a wholesale attack on Christianity — and education. And the FFRF does it every year.

School Board Votes to Say Merry Christmas

School Board Votes to Say Merry Christmas

A Virginia school board has voted to use the words “Merry Christmas” on school marquees later this year. Risking lawsuits and bad publicity the Powhatan County School Board in Virginia made the decision after residents approached them three times in the past year to say Merry Christmas.

Christopher Smith of Powhatan came before the board at meetings in October and December 2014 and then again in May 2015 to make the request. He spoke alone at first, but in the subsequent meetings, he brought an increasing number of supporters.

Board members had agreed in earlier meetings that for the sake of inclusiveness, having the message on school marquees presented too many potential pitfalls and was an opportunity for some group to be left off. But the superintendent of the school board took a straw poll after checking with attorneys and recent case law on the use of “Merry Christmas”.

Even still — just to be sure no one is left out and the chances of a lawsuit is minimized — the school district declared the marquees will say “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays”.

The world breathlessly awaits the public outcry over this bold decision.

The state of Virginia has not passed a “Merry Christmas” bill protecting schools from litigation on this matter so the stakes are quite high.

FFRF Begins Annual Assault on Christmas Music in Schools

FFRF Begins Annual Assault on Christmas Music in Schools

Talk about Christmas creep: the calendar just turned to September but already the Freedom From Religion Foundation is looking to impose it’s beliefs on everyone by suing a school for performing traditional Christmas carols. According to local media in Elkhart, Indiana the FFRF has claimed someone from the local community complained to them (it is NEVER to a local school board) about the traditional Christmas concert put on by Concord High School. They are threatening to sue on behalf of this individual.

As usual, the complainer is never identified. He or she may not even exist.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter last week to Superintendent John Trout calling the celebration “illegal” and “inappropriate,” and called on the district to ensure religious themes are not included in the 2015 holiday concert. And the organization said it will consider legal action against the district if the scene is repeated this holiday season.

The FFRF does this every year beginning around this time and continuing through the Christmas season. Some school districts immediately change concert plans while others make more of a fuss. It is too early to tell which way school officials at Concord High will respond.

The Christmas concert of Concord High is quite the tradition. It is a two hour program that usually features a mostly secular program of traditional holiday songs. But the climax of the program, usually the last fifteen minutes, features a nativity depiction on stage with songs such as “We Three Kings” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” being performed.

For now, school officials have only responded with this terse statement:

Recently, Concord Community Schools received a letter from the Madison, Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation questioning an aspect of one of the high school music department’s performances. As in past dealings with Concord Schools, that foundation provided copies of its letter to the local media before school administrators were able to review the letter. It is a long standing practice of Concord Schools to not publicly comment on concerns, valid or invalid, initially raised by students, parents, or patrons to the media instead of first addressing them with school administrators. Rest assured that Concord Schools routinely reviews all of its programs, curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular, to ensure not only compliance with legal and financial standards, but also the educational goals of the school corporation. Consistent with its past practice, Concord Schools will have no further public comment concerning the letter received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Clearly the battle lines have been drawn. An event takes place like this every year thanks to the FFRF. We’ll see how this one turns out.

Christmas on Minds of Lawmakers

Christmas on Minds of Lawmakers

Tis the season for extending the reach of Merry Christmas legislation in two more states — Arkansas and Indiana. The state senate in Indiana passed their version of the Merry Christmas Bill earlier this week and a nearly identical measure has just been introduced in Arkansas by Representative Justin T. Harris.

Harris says the bill will “allow students and school district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding celebrations, including Merry Christmas.” The bill, HB 1272, also makes mention of other holiday greetings including “Happy Hanukkah” and “Happy Holidays.” The bill states that scenes or symbols associated with a traditional winter celebration, including a menorah or Christmas image, can be placed on school property. It also states those same scenes and symbols may not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.

The bills are largely designed to prevent threats of lawsuits, which most often come from out-of-state operations of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, who claim they have received a “complaint”.

In Indiana the Senate Education Committee unanimously backed a similar measure, which would allow schools to have Nativity scenes or other Yuletide decorations, as long as another religious or secular holiday is recognized. It would also permit history lessons about winter holidays and traditional holiday greetings, including “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah.”

These two states continue a five year trend by local legislators to protect schools from lawsuits.

Marshfield School Decline Christmas Again

Marshfield School Decline Christmas Again

Thousands of signatures, a very public protest and hours of debate could not change the 3-2 vote — Marshfield schools will exclude Christmas in describing their holiday break on the school calendars.

More than 4,000 parents in Marshfield signed a petition to change the name of the school break in December and January to Christmas, break from the recently rebranded holiday break.

The School Board met to discuss the decision Monday night, but after two hours the voted to keep the name holiday break.

“Marshfield is not a diverse community. It’s very important that we do whatever we can to expose our students to the global world that they are not part of yet,” School Board Chairman Marti Morrison said.

Parents in support of Christmas break said the school is trying to abolish all things Christian.

“It’s not a way to accept all students. What it’s doing is excluding the Christian faith.” Elaine Taylor, a parent, said.

Nearly 200 parents and residents were at the meeting, most of those who spoke agreed with the name holiday break.

“The school calendar should reflect the diversity of all the students in this town, not just the majority of them,” one parent said.

The school board said they celebrate all the holidays and faiths over the break in December, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas and after receiving complaints through email, felt changing the name to include everyone was the right thing to do.

The two hours of public comment was followed by a 3-2 vote in favor of keeping the name holiday break.

Fight for Christmas in Marshfield Persists

Fight for Christmas in Marshfield Persists

A simple school calendar change has erupted into a protracted battle. The school board, despite public outcry, changed from “Christmas break” to “Holiday Break” months ago — and the public keeps fighting back.

“There are signs all over town: ‘There’s Still a Christmas,’ ‘Bring Back Christmas.’ There’s some little kids in town picking up on this and wondering if Santa is going to come to their house,” said attorney Dennis Scollins, the Marshfield School Committee’s longest-serving member and one of two who stood up for St. Nick when the board voted 3-2 on Sept. 9 to replace “Christmas” with “holiday” for the Dec. 24 to ?Jan. 2 vacation.

More than 4,245 signatures collected by a pro-Noel petition drive prompted the special meeting at 8 p.m.

Board chairwoman Marti Morrison said she “loves Christmas” but led the charge to scrub the calendar and is now being assailed around town as “the Grinch” because of it.

“Supposedly our whole country is based on religious freedom,” Morrison said. “I certainly appreciate when people feel very strongly about their religious background, but as a School Committee member, my job is to make decisions I believe are in the best interest of our town.”

In a heavily Irish Catholic town, Morrison said, “The world around us looks very different than Marshfield. We want our students to be open to differences.”

Pro-“holiday” voter Carol Shrand, the board’s vice-chair, said, “This is really about using inclusive language that reflects the diversity of faiths here in Marshfield. We take an oath to serve all our students and each and every one of them needs to feel welcome, included and represented.”

Elaine Taylor, whose children are now grown, has been the driving force behind the resurrection of Christmas vacation. Her backers will be hitting the streets today holding signs and playing Christmas carols, as well as lighting up the phone lines, reminding supporters to turn out tonight.

Massachusetts School PTA Agonizes Over Questionable Content of The Nutcracker

Massachusetts School PTA Agonizes Over Questionable Content of The Nutcracker

Butler Elementary School of Belmont, Massachusetts has a tradition of sending students to see The Nutcracker. They have done it for decades.

But the PTA there purportedly received complaints from “some parents” that The Nutcracker had “questionable content”.

What would that questionable content be? Religion? A Christmas tree?

Some parents of the second graders, who didn’t want to appear on camera, told 7News that they’re also upset because PTA leaders secretly cancelled the field trip without telling anyone, but word spread.

PTA Co-President Barbara Bulfoni said, “In the past years there were parents complaints as ‘The Nutcracker’ has a religious content. I think we clarified with the parents.”

Some of the parents that pushed back against the decision are happy they won but are concerned it’ll come up again next year.

Figures it was Massachusetts, where there is a loon in every school.

For more on this absurdity, see this link.

2nd Grader Wants to Pass Out Candy Canes Again

2nd Grader Wants to Pass Out Candy Canes Again

Advocates for Faith & Freedom has filed a request for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, November 12th 2014. The injunction, if granted, will prohibit the West Covina Unified School District from stopping seven-year-old Isaiah Martinez from passing out candy canes to his classmates with the candy cane legend attached during the Christmas season.

Last Christmas, Isaiah Martinez took Christmas gifts intended for his first grade teacher and classmates at Merced Elementary in the West Covina Unified School District. Each gift consisted of a traditional candy cane with a message attached that recited the legend of the candy cane. The legend references a candy maker who created the candy cane to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ.

When Isaiah brought his Christmas gift to school, his teacher took possession of the candy canes. At the direction of the school principal, the teacher instructed Isaiah that “Jesus is not allowed in school” and she removed the candy cane messages from each candy cane, threw the messages in the trash, and handed the candy canes back to Isaiah for delivery to his classmates. Isaiah then nervously handed the candy canes to his classmates in fear that he was in trouble for trying to bring a little Christmas cheer and “good tidings” to class.

The case is already in federal court after the parents of Isaiah Martinez felt the school violated their son’s right to freedom of religious speech.

Robert Tyler, lawyer and General Counsel, explained their decision to file a federal law suit saying, “the school has neglected to correct its actions, and after exhausting all options to avoid a lawsuit we were left with no choice but to file a complaint in federal court. We are asking the court to protect Isaiah’s rights and the rights of others like him from having their religious speech censored. Students do not shed their First Amendment rights just because they enter into a classroom.”

In January the story garnered attention from major news outlets including Fox, Univision, and NBC.

Attorney James A. Long, legal counsel with Advocates explains the injunction is necessary “because the West Covina Unified School District has made clear that the only theology allowed in the classroom is the government’s theology, it has given every indication that it will again prohibit Isaiah from passing out the candy cane legend at his school’s holiday party in the name of ‘religious neutrality,’ Isaiah’s constitutional rights will be violated again this year unless the Federal Court grants Advocates’ request for a preliminary injunction.”

Advocates claims the school has no legally viable reason for suppression of the speech, such as disruption, profanity or vulgarity or evidence that the schools conduct would be seen as advocating a particular religion.

Maryland Schools Ban All Holidays After Muslim Request

Maryland Schools Ban All Holidays After Muslim Request

All schools in Montgomery County Maryland will have no religiously named holidays on their school calendars for the 2015-16 school year after a request for inclusion by Muslim activists was denied.

Muslim community leaders have been asking Montgomery school officials for years to close schools for at least one of the two major Muslim holidays.

It is unclear how many Muslim students attend Montgomery schools, but in 2013, Muslim community leaders urged Muslim families and their supporters to keep students home for Eid ­al-Adha, hoping that the number of absentees would be persuasive as they made their case for a school closing. Montgomery school officials reported that absences for that day — 5.6 percent of students and 5 percent of teachers — were only somewhat higher than a comparable day the previous week.

In response, Montgomery’s Board of Education voted 7 to 1 Tuesday to eliminate references to all religious holidays including Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.

But Tuesday’s outcome was not at all what Muslim leaders intended. They called the decision a surprise — and a glaring mistake.

“By stripping the names Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they have alienated other communities now, and we are no closer to equality,” said Saqib Ali, a former Maryland state delegate and co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition. “It’s a pretty drastic step, and they did it without any public notification.”

Colorado School District Sued for Participating in Christian Charities

Colorado School District Sued for Participating in Christian Charities

Last week the American Humanist Association (AHA) filed a lawsuit claiming that officials from various schools in the Douglas County (Colorado) School District used their official positions to endorse and sponsor two Christian evangelical missions groups, Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child and Adventures in Missions, and their proselytizing efforts.

The lawsuit alleges that a number of Douglas County Schools violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by participating in an Operation Christmas Child event during their annual canned-food drives.

Operation Christmas Child is a charity mission run by Samaritan’s Purse, which is an evangelical organization under the direction of Franklin Graham. Volunteers can donate shoeboxes filled with small gifts to be distributed to children in need in underprivileged nations.

Adventures in Missions, is an organization that plans and organizes missions trips all over the world. Two Douglas County schools were alleged to have wrongly participated in an Adventures in Missions trip to Guatemala.

In a statement issued to The Christian Post, Randy Riddle, Domestic Director for Operation Christmas Child, said that the operation is available to all who want to donate shoeboxes, and that includes public school students and teachers.

“Our purpose is to show God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world. We do this by distributing millions of shoebox gifts to hurting kids to let them know that they are not forgotten,” the statement said. “Operation Christmas Child is open to anyone who chooses to participate in this Christmas project.”

The AHA maintains that the school officials’ involvement Christian ministries suggest that the schools favor Christianity over the other religions.

“The public school district seems to be on a mission to promote Christianity, using taxpayer dollars for evangelical and missionary purposes,” legal director of AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, David Noise, said in a press release. “As state entities, public schools must educate students in a neutral environment, not push one particular religious belief.”

The lawsuit specifically mentions the efforts of teachers and principles of Sky View Academy and claims they endorsed the proselytizing message of the Operation Christmas Child. Children that receive shoeboxes from Operation Christmas Child also receive an evangelizing booklet entitled “The Greatest Gift of All.”

The lawsuit also claims that for the last few years two other area schools, Chaparral High School and Flagstone Elementary School, participated in Operation Christmas Child, along with Sky View Academy.

The lawsuit notes an email was sent to staff of Chaparral High from a social studies teacher in charge of the school’s canned food drive that indicated incentive for kids to participate in Operation Christmas Child.

As for the case of the push for participation with Adventures in Missions, the lawsuit also specifically points out that in March of 2014, Cougar Run Elementary School and Highland Ranch High School’s sponsored a mission trip to Guatemala that was organized by Adventures in Missions. The trip was also sponsored by the schools’ Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The suit also claims that two teachers from Highlands Ranch went on the trip with students and engaged in evangelical activities and also had dinner with a pastor and his wife.

The lawsuit claims that Cougar Run Elementary donated proceeds from its school newspaper to support the trip to Guatemala. The school told parents that the trip was connected to the school’s sixth grade Latin American social studies curriculum.

“This effort was born out of desire for our sixth grade students to make real-world connections with their Latin American social studies curriculum,” a flyer states, which was passed out by Cougar Run officials to students and parents regarding the donation effort supporting the Guatemala trip.