An early Christmas present for Texas schools

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Bob Kellogg (

Christmas will be a little merrier this year in Texas public schools, thanks to the state legislature's approval of the "Merry Christmas Bill."

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.

Saenz, Jonathan (Liberty Institute)"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.

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