MESA, Ariz. – Angels, saviors, kings and mangers have been stricken from playlists at schools across the country because some have found some Christmas carols (search) offensive for non-Christian students.
“We knew the touch areas not to go near, so we kept ourselves safe,” said Carianne Randell, a kindergarten teacher in Mesa (search).
Mesa school district policy requires that holiday concerts be at least 51 percent secular.
“Today, 40 percent of our class rooms — 40 percent — are made up of students from minority ethnicities and nationalities and religions,” Bill Strauss, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Phoenix.
Peter Gentala, legal counsel for the Center for Arizona Policy, said the policy disrespects others.
“When we celebrate a holiday like Christmas, when 96 percent of the country celebrates Christmas, we are teaching our kids about the tradition, and you can't teach kids about the tradition if you're uniquely disadvantaging the religious sides of the holiday,” Gentala said.
Mary, Joseph and Jesus were long ago kicked out of public schools, but courts have ruled the words “Merry Christmas” are protected speech.
Still, many schools today only approve songs that won't get them sued. Santa and Rudolph are now the symbols of Christmas — not Christ — making some parents feel that political correctness comes at the expense of tradition.
Click in the video box above to watch the full report by FOX News' William LaJeunesse