SPOKANE, Wash. – They made a list, but they should have checked it twice.
In a December newsletter to the families of elementary school students, Spokane Public Schools' list of "important dates" didn't include Christmas.
Hanukkah, Human Rights Day, winter break, the Islamic holy day Eid al-Adha, first day of winter and Kwanzaa all made the list. But no Christmas.
"It was absolutely an error of omission," district spokeswoman Terren Roloff said. "In our efforts to be inclusive, we missed the obvious."
The omission drew complaints from some parents that Christians are being overlooked in favor of other cultures and beliefs.
Greater Spokane Association of Evangelicals Executive Director John Tusant said the error surprised him.
"The stores have been decorated for the last month. How do you overlook that?" Tusant asked.
Hutton School parent Jane Harper noted the absence of Christmas but didn't think the omission was meant as a message to Christians.
"Christmas is so dominant in our society. I don't know that anyone should feel slighted," Harper said.
Roloff said the district would not have included Hanukkah and Eid al-Adha if it had intended to avoid religious celebrations. She said her office has been fielding calls about the newsletter from concerned parents, and that most have been understanding about the mix-up.
Christmas had been added to the "important dates" section of the online version of the school district's newsletter by Thursday afternoon.