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.

Until now.

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.

Jane Gilmore, the religion hating principal of Byam Elementary School.

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  • Rick Swift says:

    The separation of church and state is an illusion anyway, and to remove Christianity was never the founding father’s intent. I remember “Secret Santa” when I was a kid, and the furthest thing from my mind was how Santa reminded me of Nazis. Clearly this parent who made that comment has never met a Nazi, because a brown shirt thug would have taken his jack boot to the parent’s throat for trying to go against whatever the Nazi wanted.

    I think a lot of these people who taut political correctness as the new “religion” need to have more “incorrect” encounters and show them what TRUE intolerance looks like. I am so fed up with this country that I swore to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. I think it is a sad state of affairs when common sense and common courtesy are thrown out because of political correctness . . . and then something like Ft. Hood happens.

    And, for the record, Santa Claus is hardly a Christian symbol associated with violence, while Christianity does have blood on its hands – Santa has bupkiss to do with that!

  • Mat says:

    Naturally, it’s in Massachusetts that this is happening. In that state, nothing surprises me anymore. What a bunch of goofy shits.

  • Big Al says:

    I wonder what would have been said if it were pointed out that selling ‘gifts’ durning the holiday season would remind someone of the ‘holiday’ just as much as the color of tissue paper.

    As a Christian I’m deeply offended by the blatant disregard of my religion. People want to dilute MY holy days and use them for their own purpose and at the same time tell me I’m not to publicly demonstrate my religion least it offend them!?! What’s politically correct about offending one group in order not to offend another?

    If one doesn’t “like” my religion or values don’t partake of them. But don’t block my right to. I may not like the color orange, but I have no right telling someone they can wear it… I just don’t wear it.

  • I R A Darth Aggie says:

    I’m left to wonder why school won’t be open on Christmas day? if it is just a day like any other, why will they be having a break?

  • philmon says:

    This is exactly why schools shouldn’t be “public” — as in government-run. If we were in charge of educating our children either ourselves or by privately pooling resources with like-minded people to organize private schools, we could do and teach whatever we want.

    This is the logical conclusion of state-run schools. If the state is to remain neutral, then “neutrality” must be forced on the schools. (of course, it’s not neutral because atheism is the yang to theism’s yin.) And according to one of Phil’s “Things I Know”, Multiculturalism = No Culturalism (hey! My “Things I Know” post is gone!)

    If we could just get the Federal Government back out of it, that would be a huge step forward.

  • Mark says:

    A lump of coal for Jane, preferably weighing 300lbs and tied around her neck.

  • Jay says:

    Note that in classic liberal fashion, they say that the purpose of “the policy for the gift shop was set so no child would feel left out”. That is, the beliefs of Christians and Jews must be explicitly forbidden from being discussed, so that no child will feel left out. How does telling a child that he is not allowed to mention his beliefs prevent him from feeling left out?

    Need we even mention that these policies only seem to apply to Christians and sometimes Jews? Schools are always saying, “We can’t mention challenges to evolution, because that would offend atheists.” But they can certainly mention support for evolution, and if a Christian obejcts, he is told that that is “free speech”. We can’t mention objections to gay marriage, because that would offend homosexuals. But we can lecture students on gay rights, and if Christians object, we are being “intolerant”.

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