WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — The Hillsboro School District outside of Portland did the unthinkable. It did off with Santa Claus.
Well, sort of. The district largely banned him from its schools, saying it did so to make all children comfortable.
The question is: How exactly does a Santa ban do that?
“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,” Beth Graser, communications director for Hillsboro School District, told an Oregon TV station.
The school district has balked about it being called a “Santa ban” but still made it clear to teachers that Santa decorations were verboten though wouldn’t be policed.
Call it what you’d like but this sounds like creating a problem that didn’t exist. It appears there were no complaints but the PC police were on patrol and issued a warning before one was needed.
And it goes against the ultimate goal: inclusion. You don’t get inclusion with exclusion.
It also goes against the whole purpose of education. Wouldn’t it be an interesting lesson to educate children of Santa Claus’ origination?
Saint Nicholas was known to give away his wealth and help the poor. He was born in 280 A.D. in what is now modern Turkey.
It’s about children learning and their broad-based knowledge so they understand themselves and other people.
As a child growing up in suburban Philadelphia, we sang one Hanukah song at our annual Christmas show.
We may have had one Jewish student in the school but we were exposed to a holiday most of us, coming from largely Catholic homes, knew nothing about at a young age.
As children we thought it was cool. Our parents didn’t complain and most of them were sitting in the audience watching.
Education isn’t always comfortable. It confronts issues where people disagree or even die. We learn about wars and who started them. And picking sides.
And for goodness sake, many grammar schools had mock presidential elections asking students to select Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
If they could handle the dumpster fire that was the 2016 election they can handle Santa.
Santa is almost everywhere already during the holiday season. It is, after all, the season for joy.
And when people ask about the advent of Donald Trump and how he got elected, this is one small reason among many.
Quite a few people are tired of an America where we’re protecting children from Santa and where people have to watch themselves if they say “Merry Christmas.”
Maybe that plays fine outside of Portland, Oregon, but some in Middle America have had enough.