A Fort Worth ISD attorney, by the name of Bertha Bailey Whatley, issued a memo to the staff of the school district emphasizing that the district cannot endorse any religious activity. Her memo also included a statement that Santa Claus cannot be scheduled to visit during class time. Both of these points make perfect sense to me, and I have absolutely no problem with either of them. No matter what the holiday is, or who the holiday figure is for that matter, class time should not be interrupted with anything that could cause too big of a distraction for the kids.
Keep in mind that Whatley's memo is merely a reminder to the staff of the Fort Worth ISD. Her memo did not mark a change of policy for the school district, nor was it meant to ban jolly old St. Nick from the school. It was merely written as a response to a few Fort Worth ISD staffers who had planned to have Kris Kringle visit during class.
But like clockwork, the screams of, "War on Christmas!" began in earnest. As swiftly as people were to condemn the memo, one would think that there are people waiting for just about anything to whine about. At least that's the way it appears to me.
For example, Hiram Sasser, the attorney for the Liberty Institute (yes, the Liberty Institute that is still fighting over the stupid Plano candy-cane issue) was quoted as saying,
"Santa Claus is a universal thing that is allowed in schools. There’s always been a discussion about religious items, but Santa Claus is always accepted. That’s what surprised me about the memo."Surprised? About what, exactly? You're surprised that a memo had to be issued to the employees of the Fort Worth ISD to remind them that they need to, you know, TEACH during work hours?
All this uproar over a "reminder" memo is the kind of thing that keeps a person like me scratching my head. How can anyone be upset that teachers needed to be reminded that class time is for instruction, not holiday events? And besides, which is it going to be for these guys? First we get bombarded with, "Keep Christ in Christmas!" Now you're complaining that you want Santa included with the baby Jesus, too? Make up your collective minds!
I'll tell you what I would like for the holiday. I'd like for Christians to stop whining and start making a difference. Get up off your knees and volunteer. Stop praying and start paying. Take those tithes and buy some food, some coats and some shoes for those in need. With the number of offended Christians reaching into the absurd, you guys have officially become a cliché.
With all the perennial distractions that the religious community sets their calendar by, it's no wonder our students continue to fall behind the rest of the industrialized world.