State Watch

Elementary principal placed on leave after telling teachers not to celebrate Christmas in classroom

An elementary school principal in Nebraska has been placed on administrative leave after telling teachers not to celebrate Christmas in the classroom.

Principal Jennifer Sinclair wrote an internal memo sent to all teachers that she signed as “The (Unintentional) Grinch who stole Christmas (from Manchester).” The memo listed an array of Christmas-related activities and items that she said are not permitted at Manchester Elementary School this holiday season.

{mosads}The “not acceptable” practices include any image of Santa or Christmas items on homework or assignments, Christmas trees in the classrooms, Christmas music, ornaments, and a number of other common items for the Christmas season, according to CNN.

“I will do my best to communicate the expectation from here on out, which aligns with my interpretation of our expectations as a public school who seeks to be inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students,” Sinclair wrote in the memo.

Candy canes were another item not allowed, with Sinclair saying the holiday candy is based in Christian traditions.

“Historically, the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus. The red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection. This will also include different colored candy canes,” Sinclair wrote.

Wednesday, the Elkhorn Public Schools District where Manchester is located issued a statement saying the incident has been addressed and the memo “does not reflect the policy” of the school district when it comes to holiday symbols.

Sinclair sent out a follow-up email apologizing for the confusion her memo might have caused.

Sinclair’s memo was obtained by Christian group Liberty Counsel, which argued the memo violated the U.S. Constitution by showing hostility towards Christianity.

Sinclair has been placed on paid administrative leave while the district looks into the incident.

“Principal Sinclair was in her first year as an employee at Elkhorn Public Schools,” Kara Perchal, spokeswoman for the school district, told CNN. “Due to the fact that this is an ongoing personnel issue, the district cannot comment further.”

Tags Christmas Elementary School Holiday season
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