MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – There won't be any herald angels singing or little drummer boys drumming at schools in Maplewood this holiday season.
Last year, when students in the chorus sang Christmas (search) songs at holiday concerts, a few people complained that lyrics about the baby Jesus or angels made non-Christians feel left out. So, the music director for the New Jersey district issued an edict that all songs representing any religion (search) were to be avoided.
But at a school board meeting this month, many parents argued the ruling is more Grinch than goodwill. Those that read the actual school policy say it's being misinterpreted since the policy permits "the inclusion of religious literature, music, drama, (etc.) provided ... it neither inhibits nor advances any religious point of view."
"To ban music a month before a scheduled concert is hostile to all who have been preparing and probably would be inspired and supportive to our students," said Maplewood resident Claire Simon. "To think you can remove all references to the sacred and still present an experience of beauty in this season is to be intolerant."
But one parent is singing a different tune, arguing that songs like "Come all Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night" silence diversity.
"I support the ban on religious music in the schools because I feel that it makes children, who do not celebrate a particular holiday or have a particular religion, it makes them uncomfortable, as if they have to choose between being in a chorus or band and their religions," said parent Shelley Slafkes.
The school board will not decide whether to reverse the policy banning Christmas songs until their meeting in January, well after holiday concerts have already canned the carols.
Click on the box near the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Alisyn Camerota.
Editor's note: Claire Simon's quotation was incorrectly attributed to Tom Reingold in an earlier version of this story.