Fight Brewing in Pennsacola Schools Over ‘Christmas Break’

For decades they’ve called it “Christmas Break” in Pennsacola, Florida. But the school board there is suddenly in a heated debate over the possible change in the calendars to the term “Winter Break”.

“It has been ‘Christmas Break,’ and then it has been ‘Winter Break,’ and I know last year it was ‘Christmas Break,’ ” Alan Scott, assistant superintendent for human-resource services, said after the meeting. “It just depends on the wishes of the board and the superintendent when we bring this issues forward. I know this superintendent and board tend to have the presence of Christmas break as their preference.”

Bergosh found the issue to be larger than a semantic preference.

Bergosh excused himself from the meeting several hours early, but he later said during a phone interview that for many years the vacation was called “Christmas Break” and that he thought the name needed to be restored.

During the workshop, School Board Attorney Donna Waters told the board she soon plans to meet with an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, a group that protects the rights of all Americans including religious rights of students.

“I brought it up because it is something we need to consider as we decide what we’re going to call things,” she said. “In an abundance of caution, I want to make sure we don’t do something that’s not inclusive.”

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