Schools and Education: Stockton Humbugs

What!? No Santa?

     What is happening in Stockton, California elementary schools? Is there something in the water up there in San Joaquin County that is cramping everyone’s bowels? If you recall, we just had an instance at Rio Calaveras Elementary School, where little Michael Davis was put through a lot of unnecessary nonsense and had his federal rights violated. Now another news item, this one out of Claudia Landeen Elementary School, a K through 8 facility which is part of the Lincoln Unified School District system of schools.

     It seems that a memo has come from somewhere within the school system, stating the following limitations on Christmas decorations in the classrooms:

     “District office would like to remind everyone when displaying holiday decorations in and around school to be mindful no association to any religious affiliation i.e. Santa, poinsettias, Christmas trees, etc. Safe: snowflakes, snowmen etc. If you have any questions please ask the office staff.”

     A copy of the document was obtained by KXTV News 10 in Sacramento, which presented the initial news report.(1) The school district was contacted by News 10 and other various news agencies and, while district superintendent Tom Uslan reiterated the contents of the memo, another spokesperson for the district has stated to Fox News and Commentary that no such memo was issued by the district:

     “There has been no letter from district administration… There has been no policy edict from our school board. There was a conversation to encourage administrators that each of our employees should enjoy their religious freedoms but we don’t want to have a pervasive theme of a classroom or public office to represent a specific religious affiliation unless we are formally teaching topics regarding those affiliations.”

     The school district also stated that they have been frustrated by what they characterized as “sloppy” reporting on this issue.(2)

     (SOAPBOX=ON) First of all, I agree with the spokesperson for the school district, insomuch as the reporting on this has been pretty sloppy. Did the memo in fact come from the district office, as News 10 in Sacramento is reporting? If not, and News 10 knows it didn’t, then shame on the folks at KXTV! That would not only be sloppy reporting, but falsifying facts in a news report. Now, there’s also the question of Tom Uslan’s and the district spokesperson’s reiterations of the contents of the memo, which would seem to indicate that the memo, or at least its contents did come from somewhere within the Lincoln Unified School District office. If that’s the case, then the district is lying. If not, what I suspect is that someone in the district office called the school, and either directed or suggested that “good ol’ Marge in the office” type up a memo for the teachers that basically conveyed the idea that, “Hey guys, the folks up at district level would like to remind us…” Either that, or the school office staff took it upon themselves to type up the memo.

     At any rate, the basic idea here is that this school, and quite possibly the school district is / are so wrapped up in trying to be “PC” that they’re tripping over their own two left feet. In my not-so-humble opinion, they should be way more concerned with meeting the instructional needs of their students. Just enjoy the holiday season, and every influence that contributes to its rich heritage of joy and giving. (I will agree with one little caveat of the memo though, I’m allergic to Poinsettias, so I personally wouldn’t mind seeing fewer of them!)

Santa Cross? smh.

    In a semi-related note, one particular Santa display in Leesburg, Virginia had a lot of people up in arms, so much for one vigilante defender of the “Christmas Spirit” that they tore it down. Apparently, one Jeff Heflin of Leesburg applied to, and was granted permission by the Loudon County Board of Supervisors for permission to erect a display on the front lawn of the county courthouse, which Mr. Heflin states was supposed to depict “…society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.”

     The display was again, torn down by a local resident. Loudon County Sheriffs state that no arrests have been made in the case. (Nor will there be, I suspect!) (3)

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