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Successfully Stopping Santa and A-Caroling We Won't Go

The ACLU has successfully stopped Santa from visiting public schools in Baldwin, Kan., because his presence constitutes illegal proselytizing by the school, reports the Baldwin City Signal.

After receiving a letter of complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union (search), the school board there voted to put a stop to the nefarious activities and said it will re-examine how it treats all religious holidays in the schools.

The ACLU complained that in a visit to an elementary school last year, Santa gave out candy canes and asked the kids why Christmas is celebrated. The kids had the nerve to pop up and answer Jesus’ birthday.

Rewriting History

High school students in Florida studying World War II (search) could be forgiven for thinking the American armed forces were happily integrated and that people of color died in numbers equal to whites during the conflict, reports the Palm Beach Post.

The main history textbook used by students in Palm Beach County high schools, a Prentice Hall effort titled "A World Conflict," presents what one World War II vet describes as a view of the conflict colored by politically correct lenses.

The first five pages of the WWII chapter cover such topics as women in the armed forces, racial segregation and the war, black Americans and the home front, Japanese Americans being interned, and women and the war effort.

Some 292,000 Americans died in the conflict, almost all of them white, but in the school texts, white male soldiers are represented far less in photos and words than all the others.

Not the Right Kind of Victim

A student who is being harassed at Pennsylvania State University had to quit the college after her complaints to administration officials were met with a you’re-imagining-things and a cold shoulder, reports the Daily Collegian.

Vicky Cangelosi resigned her position in student government and said she would leave the university because she attended a controversial, off-campus, private party. The party was controversial because it was hosted by a College Republican leader and one of the attendees was dressed in blackface.

Matt Midles, a gay student leader, said the harassment serves Cangelosi right.

"I'm glad that you've been given an insight to what the students who have been targeted feel every day," he told the paper. "You're being treated the same way that I've been treated my whole life."

A-Caroling We Won't Go

A Washington state teacher substituted the word "Christmas" with the word "winter" in a carol to be sung at a school program so as not to appear to be favoring one faith over another, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.

Music teacher Mark Denison of Clover Creek Elementary in Bethel, Wash., changed the lyrics in Dale Wood's "Carol From an Irish Cabin" to read: "The harsh wind blows down from the mountains, and blows a white winter to me."

A Hanukkah song that includes lyrics about the "mighty miracle" of Israel's ancient days will be included in the program, however.

Didn’t They Used to Call Those …

A middle school in New York state has borrowed from the early 16th-century German custom of bringing a tree into a building and adorning it with decorations, reports the Oswego Daily Herald.

But it is not a Christmas tree, said teacher Debbie Smith. It is a "diversity tree" and is decorated with ornaments celebrating the world's cultural, ethnic and religious differences.

Repeat: It is not a Christmas tree.

Under Any Circumstances

A Philadelphia elementary school principal who spelled out a racial epithet while lecturing pupils about what sort of words are not acceptable in school is under investigation, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

District officials have not decided whether to take disciplinary action against Mary Rita Sheldon, principal of the predominately black Overbrook Educational Center, but they have mandated diversity training for the entire staff as a result.

KYW News Radio reports that the principal was reprimanding a class in which a visually impaired student was called a "one-eyed jack." Miss Sheldon reportedly stated to the children, "How would you like it if I called you a n-i-g-g-e-r?"

Parents are demanding that Sheldon be removed from her post. "The use of the N-word in any context is inappropriate," said parent Carol Bangura, mother of an eighth-grade student.

Those Enlightened French

A commission in France has recommended that Muslim students not be allowed to wear headscarves or other "conspicuous" religious signs in school because they violate the country's secular traditions, reports the BBC.

Such a ban, if approved by President Jacques Chirac (search), also would outlaw Jewish kippas, or skullcaps, and large Christian crosses.

Chirac has said that France feels under attack by the display of such signs of "religious proselytism" which run "totally contrary to its secular tradition."

For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.

Mailbag:

Dennis R. corrects our Indiana Xmas tree item:

It's "Currier and Ives" not "Courier."

Joel S. writes:

If the Native American student group complaining about Michigamua "because it sounds too much like a Native American word and is therefore disrespectful" were to be consistent, then they ought to also object to the very name of the University and State.

The State Library tells us: "Michigan" comes from the Indian word "Michigama" meaning great or big lake. The French first used the word for the Great Lake that Native Americans called the "Lake of the Illinois"--now Lake Michigan. It was first used officially to refer to this land area when Congress created the Territory of Michigan in 1805."

Scott W. writes:

One wonders if the Meriden Library System will now feel inclined to remove books containing paintings of "The Last Supper", or statues of David. Perhaps they could just tear the offending pictures out of the books, maybe have a bonfire in the parking lot.

The question I have is this: Just where would you have a picture of Jesus in a "non-religious' setting"? Of course! Maybe that would be Jesus Alou in the outfield for the San Francisco Giants. Unless his name has been excised because of religious connotations.

In the words of Lewis Carroll, "It's getting curiouser and curioser."

Helen N. in Boulder Creek, Calif., writes:

I am a Jew, and in elementary school I refused to sing songs about "Christ the Savior" and to write an essay about the sounds of Christmas. That's right, I asked to be excluded, rather than be forced to participate in someone else's religion. I have never, however, felt excluded by a tree (decorated or otherwise)!

Barbara D. in Massachusetts writes:

OK, let me get this straight: Purdue University was forced to remove a Christmas tree because of the anguish a student suffered due to feelings of "exclusion" upon viewing said tree. But when Sister Souljah spewed her anti-white racist venom in a speech at the University of Louisville, an upset student was told that "the university has a responsibility to place people in uncomfortable situations to help them grow."

So let’s get this straight: it’s okay to be upset over a Christmas tree but it’s not okay to be upset over racist speech? Does that mean it’s okay for a white student to complain about, say, a Kwanza decoration but it’s not okay for a black student to be upset over an anti-black racist speech? Sure sounds that way to me.

Nate W. in Phoenix writes:

Regarding Sister Souljah being invited to speak at University of Louisville in Kentucky. I guess I don't mind her being paid to come in and spout her racist bigotted message. However in the interests of fairness, perhaps they should also invite David Duke to come in and spout his racist pap as well. Oh, and of course they would have to pay him a similar amount of money for his idiocy.

Erik in Dayton, Ohio, writes:

This will probably come as a shock to you, but there are actually people in this country who do not share the same religious beliefs as you. And whether or not you agree with it, they have the right to not be discriminated against. Would it still be 'whining' if it were christians who were offended by an islamic display? Maybe you should keep that in mind in your next attempt at 'fair and balanced' reporting.

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