Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Senate Ed Committee Backs Bill That Allows Christmas In School

The Senate Education committee passed a bill that would all holiday celebrations in the classroom.

The Senate Education committee passed a bill that would all holiday celebrations in the classroom. (Photo Credit: Kirt Edblom/Flickr)

The Senate Education Committee unanimously backed a bill Wednesday that would allow holiday celebrations and lessons on religious holidays in public school classrooms.

The bill allows for teachers to instruct students on the history of winter holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah, use holiday greetings while in school, and display holiday symbols or decorations as long as more than one religion is represented.

Lauryn Schroeder of the Associated Press reports that the bill passed easily through the committee with only a little resistance:

The bill received little pushback in committee, though some lawmakers expressed doubts on whether it is necessary since celebrating Christmas is already a legal activity in Indiana.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jim Smith, R-Charlestown, said the proposal would help ease hesitation among teachers and schools, and encourage them to celebrate the holiday season with students.

“It will help them defend themselves when they are either threatened with lawsuits or if they indeed get involved in a lawsuit,” Smith said. “It will act as a guideline for them.”

This is the second consecutive year lawmakers have introduced this legislation, which Smith said was sparked by a similar law passed in Texas. In the 2014 legislative session the bill unanimously passed through the Senate, but stalled in the House.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

Comments

  • Mouse Rat

    From the ACLU of Tennessee (http://www.aclu-tn.org/pdfs/briefer_religion_in_public_schools.pdf):

    “The United States Supreme Court has determined that schools may celebrate the holidays and create displays as long as they so do within “the context of the Christmas season” and the religious component of their display does not dominate but simply represents one element of a holiday that has obtained secular status in our society. Lynch v. Donnelly, 465.U.S. 668, 679, and 691 (1984). Under this ruling, a Christmas tree would be appropriate while a cross or a nativity scene would not. Crosses and nativity scenes are purely religious symbols that have not gained secular status in our society and therefore may not be displayed in public schools.”

    I am waiting for the bill in this year’s state legislature that outlaws abortion and legalizes slavery, all at the same time.

    Why does the Republican Indiana state legislature believe they operate in a bubble outside of the federal laws of the United States? The same guys who thought a state-run news agency would be awesome?This will end up being a colossal waste of taxpayer money in the long run, mark my words…

    • lastcamp2

      They do operate in a bubble outside the federal laws of the United States. That bubble is their minds, wherein they reconstruct reality to suit their political inclinations and objectives.

      Remember when the neo-cons, while getting us into the Iraq and Afghan Wars under false pretenses, talked about what amounts to the Post-Real Era, that reality was what they say it is. Karl Rove: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

      Well, you see where that thinking took us. Now we get to study the disasters of those wars, as we will study the disaster of the deconstruction of the Constitution years hence.

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