Elementary School Principal/Grinch Ousted

In a rare moment of sanity, a school district in Omaha, Nebraska, placed a principal on administrative leave after she perhaps took the “separation of church and state” idea a little too seriously.

It was discovered that one Jennifer Sinclair, principal of Manchester Elementary School, issued an internal memo banning everything even remotely related to the Christmas holiday, including, of all things, candy canes, supposedly because they are in the shape of J’s (“for Jesus”), and the colors are representative of His blood and resurrection. Teachers were also banned from singing Christmas carols, putting up trees, or referring to reindeer, among other things.

Said memo, referenced below, mentions mandates from Elkhorn School District, and reminds teachers that they need to be sensitive to all religions and cultures. While the principal herself was removed from her post, it sounds like she was just following through with what she believed the district insisted upon. Whether or not she took it too far and is the only one to blame are points of contention.

Acceptable practices:
Gifts to students
Students making gift for a loved one
Snowmen, snow women, snow people, snowflakes
Gingerbread people
Holidays Around the World – purposeful presentation of information to teach about different cultures
Sledding
Hot chocolate
Polar Bears
Penguins
Scarves, boots, earmuffs, and hats
Yetis
Olaf – Frozen

Not acceptable:
Santas or Christmas items (clipart) on worksheets
Christmas trees in classrooms
Elf on the Shelf – that’s Christmas-related
Singing Christmas Carols
Playing Christmas music
Sending a Scholastic book that is a Christmas book – that’s Christmas-related
Making a Christmas ornament as a gift – This assumes that the family has a Christmas tree which assumes they celebrate Christmas. I challenge the thought of, “Well they can just hang it somewhere else.”
Candy Cane – that’s Christmas related. 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 would also include different colored candy canes.
Red/Green items – traditional Christmas colors
Reindeer
Christmas videos/movies and/or characters from Christmas movies

When in doubt, ask yourself:
What is the clear instructional purpose of this?
Does this item or activity promote a certain belief or religious (sic)?

Ironically enough, in the same memo a fourth grade trip to see the Nutcracker is mentioned. I wonder if anyone told the principal that this is a Christmas-themed show?

The decision to remove Ms. Sinclair began with nonprofit group centered on Christian values and First Amendment rights, Liberty Counsel, which sent a strongly-worded letter to the district asserting that religious freedom was being infringed upon. They did not advocate for her removal; only for her compliance with what they felt was a more acceptable handling of winter holidays.

While the district policy alluded to by the principal in the full memo (both linked below) is not as harsh as the strict guidelines set forth by Ms. Sinclair to her faculty, the fact that a public school is indeed a secular institution cannot be ignored. It serves to educate the broader community, and while banning Rudolph and the colors red and green may seem a bit ridiculous, government entities are well within their rights to do so, so as to cater to the community as a whole, and not just one specific group, religious or otherwise. If you truly find this unfair, you may be ready to ask yourselves: is this really the best place to educate our children? What other, more serious things are being added to or removed from the curriculum, all in the name of political correctness?

A statement from Elkhorn School District spokesperson, Kara Perchal reads: “Elkhorn Public Schools District administration promptly addressed the issue at Manchester Elementary School regarding the memo that was sent by the principal to Manchester elementary staff. The memo does not reflect the policy of Elkhorn Public Schools regarding holiday symbols in the school. The district has since clarified expectations and provided further direction to staff in alignment with district policy. This issue was limited to Manchester Elementary School and did not arise at any other schools within the district.”

Ms. Sinclair had been in her first year as principal of Manchester Elementary, which serves over 540 students from Kindergarten through fifth grade in the Omaha area.

Elementary school principal placed on leave after banning all things Christmas from classrooms

Letter from Liberty Counsel to Elkhorn Public School District

Manchester Elementary School – Week Ahead Notes: Dec. 3 – Dec. 7

Elkhorn Public Schools – ADMINISTRATIVE RULES AND PROCEDURES TO IMPLEMENT POLICY 604.05

Manchester Elementary

Teachers’ Unions Play Politics

teacherprotest.jpg

We’re coming upon the time of year when parents and children alike obsess over which teacher(s) they will receive for the upcoming school term. There is no real implied choice in the matter; similar to your “zoned school,” most families don’t search beyond what’s handed to them, so if a student doesn’t mesh well with their instructor, it’s “too bad, Jimmy, better luck next year.”

But, on the rare chance your child’s teacher isn’t a pedophile or serial public pooper, and doesn’t have anger management issues, perhaps you’ll gloat about what a wonderful person they are. “He shares my values,” you may say, or “She attends my church.” “We’re both supporting _____ in the Senate race.” This, you tell yourself, is the perfect person to replace you during the average of 8 hours a day your impressionable youngster is in school.

You would be wrong.

Regardless of a teacher’s political, religious, or otherwise ideological views, they are subject to the all-powerful organization known as the teacher’s union, which has overwhelmingly only one agenda.

Whether you agree or not with a union supporting certain political parties, the fact that teacher’s unions have in recent years given 94% of political contributions to liberal candidates and organizations. This money is not solely from donations, but from dues paid by those illustrious, upstanding teachers at a school near you.

Besides your standard Senate candidates and, of course, Hillary Clinton, NEA (National Education Association) and AFT (American Federation of Teachers), the two largest teachers’ unions in the United States, have contributed to many decidedly one-sided organizations, including but not limited to: the Human Rights Campaign (national group working for “working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights”); the Center for American Progress (progressive think tank led by former Clinton and Obama aides); and Jesse Jackson’s “Rainbow Push Coalition” and Al Sharpton’s “National Action Network.”

Millions upon millions of dollars are spent by these unions every year to support candidates, policies, and organizations on just one side of the aisle. And what’s more, from 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million. What’s more, Democratic bigshots like Hillary Clinton are welcome faces at union events; Clinton received the AFT’s “Women’s Rights Award” on Friday, and the response to her presence at the Pittsburgh event was akin to teenyboppers at a Justin Bieber concert.

“But that’s just the union,” you protest, still trying to remain in denial. “They don’t represent the values of OUR teachers!” Oh, really? Then who DO they represent? And why are they taking their money? The truth is, teachers listen to their union leaders, and believe they will fight for them to have less time with your kids and more money for what is essentially glorified babysitting, for much of the school day. If union leaders tell them to vote one way, chances are, they will. Because just like they are teaching your kids, day in and day out, to be mindless automatons dependent on someone else to tell them what’s in their best interest, teachers will often blindly follow their leaders. In fact, they are more likely to revere their local union leaders over their school principal.

So before you recommend your child’s teacher for canonization, perhaps you’d best examine where their loyalties really lie.

Hillary begins speech: ‘I’m so tired, I can barely stand’

Big Political Spending By Unions–Paid With Dues

OpenSecrets.org – Teachers Unions

How Liberal Politics and Teachers’ Unions Got So Entangled