Santa equals swastikas
Santa equals swastikas
For a Massachusetts parent, anyways.
Byam Elementary School apparently has a gift shop they arrange every year during the holiday season. But in the interest of political correctness, religion must of course be promptly removed — we wouldn’t want to anger the atheists, after all — and Christmas is the holiday that’s most in the crosshairs.
After meeting with members of the Byam Elementary School PTO, two mothers asking to put the holidays back into the school’s annual holiday gift shop say Byam isn’t budging.
Kathryn McMillan and Kathleen Cullen, who both have children at Byam, asked school officials to allow all holiday items at the gift shop following a ban on Santa, candy canes, stockings, and all Christmas, Hanukkah and other “religious items.”
But a meeting with some PTO parents on Thursday night grew heated as emotions got in the way.
Red and green tissue paper to wrap presents was also crossed off the list because it looked too “Christmasy,” McMillan said.
“One of the parents said, ‘If we allow Santa, what do we say if a child brings in a swastika? Do we allow that too?’ ” McMillan said. “All I could think of was, are you kidding? You’re comparing a Christmas ornament to a swastika? It seems as if reason is lost somewhere and I just hope we can find it again.”
Superintendent Donald Yeoman told The Sun on Tuesday that the rules for the gift shop are under the authority of Byam Principal Jane Gilmore. Ultimately, said Yeoman, the policy for the gift shop was set so no child would feel left out.
“It’s operated under those same rules for a number of years with success and without complaint,” Yeoman said.
Gilmore did not return a reporter’s phone call yesterday.
McMillan and Cullen have asked that if the children can’t celebrate their traditions – whatever they may be – at the holiday gift shop, then maybe the school should move the gift shop to another time of year.
Not all Chelmsford schools have adopted the same policy as Byam. The South Row Elementary School, and the former Westlands Elementary that closed last year, had no restrictions on gift-giving.
“It makes sense that the school probably makes the most money by holding the gift shop over the holidays,” McMillan added. “So all we’re asking is that if you’re letting kids buy gifts for the holidays, let them donate stuff that celebrates those traditions and use it as a teachable moment so these kids can learn.”
McMillan and Cullen will appear before the School Committee on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
It seems like these parents are the only ones who possess any reason whatsoever. But, as always, there is the one parent who gets OFFENDED!! for their children’s sake, and must ban Christmas, Santa, Christianity, and anything that might even resemble it. But going so far as to link Santa Claus to Nazi swastikas is taking it further than I think I’ve seen before. I mean, really, let’s see… we have Santa Claus, a saint who has grown into a myth, a man who believes in kindness and giving. And then there’s Nazis, who were responsible for the torture, starvation, slavery, and murders of over six million people. How does one’s mind link Santa Claus and Nazis? When someone mentions Christmas or Santa, how screwed up do you have to be to automatically think that letting a kid celebrate that in school means that you’re opening the door to celebrating Nazis? I mean, that’s one hell of a leap there. On top of that, the rules seem more than a little outrageous. You can’t even have red or green wrapping paper because it just might remind someone of Christmas? Good Lord, this takes worshipping at the altar of political correctness to a whole new level.
And for what it’s worth, I think the suggestion of McMillan and Cullen seem perfectly sound to me. If they won’t let children celebrate their respective holidays at the gift shop — Christmas, Hanukah — then why not just move the gift shop to a different time of year and avoid the whole issue? Instead, the school has seemingly gone out of their way to deliberately snub religion. It’s simple, though. The school wants to capitalize on the holiday season without having to actually deal with those pesky holidays, and they know that having the gift shop in the middle of, say, September just wouldn’t be as profitable. I don’t begrudge them wanting to make money, but it seems hypocritical to want to make money off of the holiday season — and also by taking advantage of the festive, giving holiday spirit of parents — while being completely unwilling to include the holidays they’re capitalizing on.
And while surely if enough parents complain enough, the school will change the rules, it’s disturbing enough that this would even happen. This was a country built on faith-based principles, after all — and now, we have more and more schools trying to keep faith out of the public eye in any way, shape, or form.