Powhatan schools to have ‘Merry Christmas’ on marquees during holiday season

Posted at 11:12 PM, Sep 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-04 17:14:33-04

POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. -- With school about to begin, it can be hard to even think about the holidays. However, Christmas was the topic of discussion at a Powhatan school board work session last week.

Charles Simons and others went to the board to ask them to allow county schools to place "Merry Christmas" on marquees during the holiday season.

"I grew up in a family that always celebrated Christmas so I didn't see the purpose of telling kids they couldn't celebrate Christmas if they really believed in it," said Simons.

Charles Simons

Charles Simons

The school board's attorney said that recent court rulings have determined that "Merry Christmas"is very much part of society today and the message could be included in public displays.

Therefore, the board made the decision to allow the greeting.

"I actually prefer it, I've never had a problem with Merry Christmas," said one Powhatan parent.

Claire Gastanaga with the ACLU of Virginia asked how this will make people feel who live in Powhatan but don't celebrate Christmas.

"Will their children feel welcome when they enter the school with an religious message on the sign out front that does not include them?  Will the elevation of one religion over another by the government in government speech invite children in the school to bully other children who belong to religious minorities?" she asked.

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