How The Grinch, I Mean School Principal, Stole Christmas


According to FOX42, Jennifer Sinclair, the Principal of Manchester Elementary School in Nebraska, sent out a memo earlier this week with guidelines for what is considered appropriate for classroom decorations and assignments.


Unacceptable items included: Santa, Christmas trees, candy canes, and reindeer.


Acceptable items included sledding, scarves, yetis and even Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen.


According to KETV candy canes were prohibited because the Grinch, I mean Principal Sinclair deemed them to have religious significance. "Historically, the shape is a 'J' for Jesus. The red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection". None of which is true to the candy cane origin according to, Today I Found Out.

In effect the principal banned Christmas in the classroom in an effort to be more inclusive. Reportedly, the Christian organization, Liberty Counsel, caught wind of the principal's memo and sent a demand letter to the superintendent of Elkhorn Public Schools asking the district to lift the Christmas ban.


On Thursday 6 Dec, the school district responded and placed the principal on administrative leave. An Elkhorn Public Schools spokesperson sent a statement to Fox 42 indicating the principal was put on leave “due to the fact that this is an ongoing personnel issue”. Reportedly, "the memo does not reflect the policy of Elkhorn Public Schools regarding holiday symbols in the school."


Effectively the school district allows Christmas and even Christian symbolism. The official policy on the district's website does allow Christmas trees and Santa Claus and considers them secular in nature. Other religious symbols can be displayed too when they are“used as teaching aids in the classroom provided that the symbols are displayed as an example of the cultural and/or religious heritage of the holiday and are temporary in nature.” Ultimately that is the story of how The Liberty Council created a more inclusive environment and saved Christmas for Manchester Elementary.


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