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.