A Kentucky school district banned students from performing the most important part of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” after a single complaint, but parents happily filled in the blanks at the student play Thursday.
Johnson County Schools Superintendent Thomas Slayer announced last week that all religious references – including a monologue by Charlie Brown’s buddy Linus Van Pelt in student productions of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – are banned from district schools after a complaint from a parent.
The decree meant students at W.R. Castle Elementary were forbidden from acting out the most important part of the play, when Linus recites the Bible verse Luke 2:8-14. Parents expressed outrage over the decision, both online and in protests at district offices, but school officials refused to reverse the ban, EAGnews reports.
Slayer alleged he is simply protecting the district from a potential lawsuit for violating students’ rights.
“The U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit are very clear that public school staff may not endorse any religion when acting in their official capacities and during school activities,” Slayer wrote, according to the Herald-Leader. “However, our district is fully committed to promote the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens that help define the Christmas holiday.”
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