Parents read Bible verses cut from ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ school play
By Victor Skinner
Greg’s Note: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ has always been my favorite Christmas TV special. I was roughly three months old when it first debuted on television in 1965, when even then, Linus’ monologue was controversial (I’ve posted on it in the past, here and here). I’ve been following this story for a bit and when I read the latest on it this morning, I have to admit that it tugged at my heart strings more than a little. Enjoy…
A Kentucky school district banned students from performing the most important part of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” after a single complaint, but parents happily filled in the blanks at the student play Thursday.
Johnson County Schools Superintendent Thomas Slayer announced last week that all religious references – including a monologue by Charlie Brown’s buddy Linus Van Pelt in student productions of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – are banned from district schools after a complaint from a parent.
The decree meant students at W.R. Castle Elementary were forbidden from acting out the most important part of the play, when Linus recites the Bible verse Luke 2:8-14. Parents expressed outrage over the decision, both online and in protests at district offices, but school officials refused to reverse the ban, EAGnews reports.
Slayer alleged he is simply protecting the district from a potential lawsuit for violating students’ rights.
“The U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit are very clear that public school staff may not endorse any religion when acting in their official capacities and during school activities,” Slayer wrote, according to the Herald-Leader. “However, our district is fully committed to promote the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens that help define the Christmas holiday.”
Many folks who believe Christmas is about much more than “the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens” took up a suggestion by conservative media host Glenn Beck to ensure the district doesn’t scrub “A Charlie Brown Christmas” of the real reason for the season.
When students at Castle Elementary reached the controversial monologue in their play Thursday, when Charlie Brown questions whether anyone really knows the meaning of Christmas anymore, parents in attendance were ready and waiting to fill in the blanks…
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