Oregon school district to staff: No Santa Claus, ‘religious-themed’ Christmas decorations

Santa Claus
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On Tuesday, KATU reported that the Hillsboro School District in Hillsboro, Oregon, issued a memo to staff asking them to refrain from using Santa Claus or “religious-themed” decorations during the Christmas holiday.

A memo obtained by KATU read:

You may still decorate your door or office if you like, but we ask that you be respectful and sensitive to the diverse perspectives and beliefs of our community and refrain from using religious-themed decorations or images like Santa Claus.

“It really went out as a notification to staff, not even parents, just to make sure they are being sensitive and thoughtful as they enter the holiday season,” Beth Graser, communications director for Hillsboro School District said.

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KATU added:

Some parents say a rule like this one is bogus.

“I’m from that generation where we believe in Santa, and my kids believe in Santa, and they should be able to celebrate it,” said one parent.

“If you’re going to put a giant cross on the window that’s one thing, but I think Santa Claus is more folklore and American history than a religious symbol at this point,” said Jason Ramirez.

In downtown Hillsboro, certain stores are decorated for Christmas with images of Santa hang in the windows.

“It’s just part of the traditional holiday spirit I guess, we’ve always embraced it,” said Jeff Nelson, owner of Le Stuff Antique Mall.

The district, however, claimed they’re not really banning Santa, as EAG News reported:

Hillsboro spokeswoman Beth Graser told WGRZ the memo was sent to secondary school principals because the Christmas door decoration contest made some people uncomfortable in years past, and the district wants to maintain “inclusive and welcoming spaces” for all, including students who don’t believe in Santa.

“We were NOT banning Santa, nor were we going to be the ‘decorations police’ and scold people if they happened to have decorations up that might be too Christmas-y … unless they were totally over the top,” Graser said.

“Quite honestly the ‘competition’ aspect meant that several of the decorations had gotten excessive,” she said of the door decorating contest. “As a result, we had some staff members and visitors to our building indicate that they were uncomfortable and didn’t feel welcome due to the overwhelming Christmas atmosphere that had been created.”

KATU said that other districts in the area have similar guidelines:

School districts around Portland have similar ways of handling holiday decorations. Portland Public Schools, Beaverton School District, North Clackamas School District, and Oregon City School District all responded to requests from KATU about religious-themed holiday decorations, they all have similar guidelines.

For those who may not be aware of it, Christmas is more than just a time to decorate trees and buy presents.  For Christians, it’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  But it’s become the time of year when leftists go out of their way to push more political correctness and lawyers for groups like the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation go on the hunt for anything that might resemble a religious display.

Merry Christmas…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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