Principal bans red, green and everything Christmas before Liberty Counsel steps in to put her in check

And you thought the “War on Christmas” was over — where’s Bill O’Reilly when you need him?

In the name of inclusivity, a Nebraska elementary school principal banned Santa Clause from the classroom. In fact, doing her best Ebenezer Scrooge impersonation, she went so far as to ban Christmas altogether.

In a directive to teachers, Manchester Elementary School Principal Jennifer Sinclair effectively censored all Christmas holiday symbols, according to Liberty Counsel.

“[W]e are not to be doing any Christmas or holiday-specific themed activities with students. Santa and Christmas items are not to be on activities or copies,” Sinclair instructed, saying because of varying religious beliefs, they must be “inclusive.”

Not that the “Unintentional Grinch,” as she referred to herself, was going to get away with stealing Christmas, thanks to Liberty Counsel, a public policy group dedicated to religious liberty issues.

Principal Dr. Jen Sinclair – Elkhorn Public Schools

More on that in a moment, but first let’s explore what Sinclair banned.

Christmas trees were banned in the classroom, as was playing Christmas music and singing Christmas Carols. Showing Christmas movies was out and making Christmas ornaments as a gift was not allowed.

Even Elf on the Shelf didn’t make the cut, nor did Rudolph — yes, she nixed reindeer.

The colors red and green were not allowed, and candy canes were banned — Liberty Counsel explained, “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.”

Sinclair’s “acceptable” list included “snowmen, snow women, snow people” and even “snowflakes” — not the liberal variety.

Gingerbread people also made the cut, as did polar bears, penguins, and Yetis and Olaf, the snowman from the movie “Frozen.”

Oh, and hot chocolate was allowed, along with “scarves, boots, earmuffs, and hats” — it is Nebraska after all.

Liberty Counsel intervened, sending a letter to Elkhorn Public Schools warning them that the Christmas ban was unconstitutional.

“The ban violates the U.S. Constitution by showing hostility toward Christianity,” LC attorney Robert Mast wrote. “The principal appears to have conflated her own values and preferences with the law.”

The district “investigated” the matter and “determined that Principal Sinclair’s memorandum did not comply with Board Policy.”

“We are pleased that Elkhorn Public Schools promptly reversed Principal Jennifer Sinclair’s unconstitutional directive, and required compliance with the Constitution,” said Mat Staver, Founder, and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“The First Amendment does not require the elimination of Christmas,” Staver continued. Nothing prohibits public schools from teaching objectively about Christmas or other holidays with religious significance, from displaying religious and secular Christmas symbols side-by-side or singing sacred and secular Christmas songs together.”

He went on to say that Sinclair’s directive “was not based on ignorance of the law but hatred toward Christianity and Christmas. Principal Sinclair should issue an apology to her teachers and staff.”

The irony here is that when Sinclair became principal at Manchester Elementary this year, she replaced Principle Amy Christ.


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