It is so interesting to me (and many other professional educators I know) that our public schools have become so "politically corrent" or "PC" now.
Christmas trees, anything to do with Santa Claus, wreaths, etc. have been discouraged and, in some cases, banned in our schools. Adminstrators are told to tell teachers that there must be a balanced approach to the teaching of holidays around the world if they decide to teach about the holidays at all. 25% to Christmas, 25% to Hanukkah, 25% to Kwanzaa and 25% to Ramadan.
In many districts the approved curriculum allows only minimal interaction with these holidays and with the focus on data driven instruction, assessment based teaching, and MCAS there seems to be little time to dwell on the differences between Ramadan and Kwanzaa.
That being said there are many veteran educators who still feel that the holidays need to be celebrated in the schools. These teachers and administrators "walk on eggshells" out of fear that someone will call the Superintendent or a School Committee member to complain. In one of my schools I actually had a volunteer make a list of all the holiday displays in the hallways of the school. The volunteer went to the Superintendent with the list noting that there were 7 Christmas exhibits and only 4 Hanukkah exhibits. The volunteer wanted this changed immediately. So, I had to meet with the staff and make them aware of the complaint and to alter the school environment to demonstrate "balance."
Why does everything have to be so "PC" now? Have we gone overboard? Public school administrators and teachers are public servants so we have to march to the drummer of public sentiment and perceived values. I understand that. But when everything is so "watered down" that our children are confused when they try to understand why they can be excited about Santa coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve at home but at school they can not wear a Santa hat to the classroom "Winter Party" I think we need to reevaluate our priorities.