Christmas will be a little merrier this year in Texas public
schools, thanks to the state legislature's approval of the "Merry
In the past, teachers, administrators and parents have been wary
of greeting each other by saying "Merry Christmas," "Happy
Holidays" or "Happy Hanukah." But Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values says
the new legislation puts an end to those concerns, as it permits
public school officials to say "Merry Christmas" and put up
religious symbols, so long as they do not constitute a state
preference for one particular religion.
"This legislation will make it clear what the
Supreme Court has said about these issues -- that there is nothing
wrong and it's permissible to have these types of Merry Christmas
greetings, and also to have displays reflecting Christmas and other
holidays in public schools," he asserts.
And he is pleased that House Bill 308 enjoyed an amazing amount
of bipartisan support.
"We're very excited that you had Republicans and Democrats come
together on this issue -- almost unanimous support, very little, if
no opposition -- and so, that is great," says Saenz. "And we hope
this will send a message to school districts that the Merry
Christmas Bill will decrease the number of school districts that
are being naughty and increase the ones that are being nice."
School districts in Plano and Katy were involved in long, costly
court cases involving Christmas expressions, and a Fort Worth
school was embroiled in a controversy over Santa Claus.