CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – School leaders in the Chambersburg Area School District plan to include the Nativity scene at this year’s high school Christmas program, following a decision to take it out fearing it would violate the separation of church and state.
The administration said “the show must go on” after parents and students took their concern to social media.
School leaders initially decided to cancel the Nativity scene to avoid legal issues, based from advice from solicitor Jan Sulcove.
In a statement, he said: “Since 2013, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a public interest law firm, has sued school districts throughout the country seeking the removal of all live nativity scenes. Recently, it succeeded in convincing a federal court in Indiana that the performance of a live Nativity scene and the reading of Bible verses violates the Constitution’s requirement of separation of church and state.”
“They get too carried away with lawsuits. Every day someone is offended by something and to me it’s just utter nonsense,” parent Michael Popkins said.
School leaders decided last night to move forward with the original plan and include the Nativity scene since the concert is a week away and glee club members have practiced for some time.
“I think it’s good. I mean, it’s been around since the 40’s and it’s never caused problems before, so I don’t know why it’s all of a sudden an issue now,” Popkins said.
“The kids worked for it, so it gives them something to look forward to,” mother Robin Winebrenner said.
The superintendent agreed to meet with ABC 27 News but then changed his mind. One school administrator said the issue is far from being over and that it could change again in the future.