Sunday, November 03, 2013

Christmas Music Banned in New Jersey School

Parents and other citizens in Bordentown, New Jersey are fighting back after school superintendent Constance J. Bauer announced that music celebrating Christmas shall NOT be allowed because people have complained in the past. However, the Bordentown Regional District calendar includes "winter" activities including a "Breakfast with Santa and Santa Workshop."

For background, read Wisconsin School Bans Christmas Music, Citizens Revolt and also read Nativity Banned at Florida School by Obama Dept. of Education as well as Christmas Music at School is a 'Form of Bullying'

-- From "New Jersey district bans religious music at school winter concerts" by David Mitchell, KDVR-TV31 (Denver) 11/1/13

A New Jersey school district has issued a new rule that says no Christmas music can be played at this year’s winter concerts.

The superintendent of the district told parents that there were some parents who questioned last year’s musical selections.

After a legal review, a decision was made that religious music should not be part of the elementary school programs.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "N.J. school district won't allow religious songs at holiday concerts" by Jeff Goldman, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) 10/30/13

Michael Stratechuk, whose children attended Columbia High School and Maplewood Middle School sued in 2004, saying the [New Jersey] South Orange-Maplewood school district's ban violated the First Amendment's freedom of worship provision.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld the ban, however. The judges said public school administrations can determine which songs are appropriate according to constitutional guidelines to create a secular "inclusive environment."

The conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] is battling the Bordentown district's choice, though. It fired off a letter asserting that district official misunderstood the court ruling.

"We write to explain that every federal court to examine the issue has determined that including Christmas carols and other religious music in school choir programs fully complies with the First Amendment and to urge you to immediately rescind the new policy instituted by administrative officials."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "N.J. School District Banning Christmas Carols at Elementary Schools Put on Notice by Religious Freedom Advocacy Group" by Alex Murashko, Christian Post Reporter 10/30/13

"Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to perform Christmas carols," said ADF Legal Counsel Matthew Sharp. "Courts have unanimously upheld their inclusion in school productions – even when songs deal with Christian themes that are naturally a part of the holiday."

The [ADF] letter also explains that "the cultural and educational merits of Christmas carols and other religious songs are well established." One federal appellate court, for example, "recognized over thirty years ago that there is no constitutional objection to students in public schools learning and performing religious songs 'presented objectively as part of a secular program of education….' Music educators, not administrative officials, should choose which choral pieces--secular or sacred--are best-suited to the occasion…."

"Misinformation about the First Amendment is frequently what leads to censorship of constitutionally permissible and culturally significant songs performed during Christmas concerts," added Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. "We urge the Bordentown Regional School District to rescind this new policy and permit religious music to be included among the many non-religious songs performed at school concerts."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.