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Oregon school district bans Santa from classrooms, seeks religious tolerance

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- An Oregon school district has asked staff to not use Santa Claus in their holiday decorations at school, saying it's a way to respect all religious beliefs.

"You may still decorate your door or office if you like, but we ask that you be respectful and sensitive to the diverse perspectives and beliefs of our community and refrain from using religious-themed decorations or images like Santa Claus," the Hillsboro School District said in a letter to staff, KATU reports.

"It really went out as a notification to staff, not even parents, just to make sure they are being sensitive and thoughtful as they enter the holiday season," district spokeswoman Beth Graser told the station.

Staff who want to decorate offices or doors were told to refrain from religious-themed decorations or images like Santa.

Some parents say it's bogus.

"I'm from that generation where we believe in Santa, and my kids believe in Santa, and they should be able to celebrate it," a parent said.

"If you're going to put a giant cross on the window that's one thing, but i think Santa Claus is more folklore and American history than a religious symbol at this point," parent Jason Ramirez said.

Added Graser: "Again, it's just really a reminder to get people to be sensitive."

Several other school districts in the Portland, Ore., have similar policies.

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16 comments

  • confused

    Will vacation be banned next? Really that is mostly what it is used for, church & religious services of all types to spend with family and friends. Just stay in school and honor the almighty pansy lest we offend government? Do not pray for the fallen cops or soldiers, but march illegally march and commit arson when a thug is shot, burn a flag because you do not like the President Elect? WHEN did we become a 3rd world county? How about hang what ever CHRISTmas/religious decor you want: Santa, manger, menorah, Kwanzaa, and if a kid sees it and wonders, EXPLAIN to them we are a country that was founded on the freedom of religion. THAT means you can worship or not whatever entity you choose. YOU can choose whatever you want. There is the internet, or family and friends can also explain a religion you may not know about. If you let USA be slowly manipulated into only displaying NOTHING, that is our religious freedom taken away. That is banning. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. But do NOT trash it, and do not condemn it to your child. To me it would be a great dinner topic instead of looking at your &*%$ phones the whole time to play a game or check the stocks.

    • JustTheTruth

      Great idea about if you don’t like don’t look, but how would you feel if people that worship Christianity’s Satan put up statues of him all around town. I bet you would try to get them removed.

      • confused

        Just the truth: and you’d lose that bet. That would make a great discussion over dinner. You cannot learn if you do not observe and study.

      • JustTheTruth

        Confused, glad you wouldn’t try to remove them. But most Christians would as evidenced in cities that have done this exact thing. Not all Christians are intolerant. But religion does teach intolerance. Some are immune to the teachings but most are not.

  • deletedagain

    How do you teach religious tolerance to kids if you don’t have any religion represented? No religion doesn’t do that but coexisting with others does. Almost all religions practice tolerance. The only trouble comes from religions that preach and practice hate and intolerance.
    The simple solution would be to eliminate religions that hate.

  • Remarde

    Wow Santa Claus is not a religious symbol, maybe the administrators need to research the fact that many cultures and countries that are not necessarily Christiian have a figure similar to Santa Claus. I
    In the United States and Canada, his name is Santa Claus.
    In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren.
    In England, his name is Father Christmas, where he has a longer coat and a longer beard.
    In France, he’s known as Pere Noel.
    In Germany, children get presents from Christindl, the Christ Child.

    Maybe the School District needs to do some learnin’ themselves….
    http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/

    • JustTheTruth

      I say it is time for all the looney fairy tale religion believers to grow up and leave their scapegoat of god and an afterlife in the past and focus on humanity and the future. It’s time to unify our species.

  • JustTheTruth

    Every comment got deleted. Religion is a joke. It is holding humanity back from unifying as a species. Fox news is a joke. Guess you will probably delete this comment as well. GFY!