It’s the holiday season. The season for glad tidings, good cheer, spending time with loved ones, goodwill toward men — and religious discrimination in schools.
Religious discrimination and judgment come as an accessory to the holidays for anyone who does not follow Christianity, the predominant religion in America. Come December, the radios on our public school buses are echoing with “Jingle Bells,” the hallways are decorated with bright red and green, the spirit day posters proclaim “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” and “Red and Green Day” and “winter break” conveniently falls a day or so before Christmas.
All this holiday hoopla can feel quite upsetting to any young celebrant of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa who often feels left out of the festivities. It’s hard not to feel hurt when everyone at your school knows the story of Christmas, but not a single person other than yourself really understands the background of a holiday like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
America is a country that settlers traveled to in order to gain religious freedom. Should not those who live here today be granted that same freedom? Our public education system should be doing more to encourage every citizen’s constitutional right to freedom of religion instead of unwittingly thrusting
the “normal” holiday upon the shoulders of those who don’t celebrate it. The schools should take more seriously the feelings, concerns and beliefs of all of its students, not just the majority.
West Donegal Township