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This lady is nuts!  An Elkhorn, Nebraska grade school principal has banned candy canes during the Christmas season because she is afraid the J-shape of the candy might make students think of Jesus.

I checked, Elkhorn has at least three synagogues so it must have an ample Jewish community. Perhaps the “J” shaped candy canes made kids think of Jewish? Or the maybe even the traditional Hanukkah food “Jelly Donuts.” Actually, the “J” always reminds me of junk food. Most probably the J-shaped candy reminds kids that they love sugar.

This foolishness came from Omaha Manchester Elementary School principal Jennifer Sinclair who put out a list of things she was banning during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Sinclair outlined all her banned items in a letter home to parents telling students that they need to learn to be “inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students.”  Her list included:

  • Christmas trees in classrooms
  • Santas or Christmas items (clipart) on worksheets
  • Singing Christmas Carols [But what about Christmas carols written by Jews, like White Christmas, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, A Holly Jolly Christmas, or I’ll be home for Christmas?]
  • Playing Christmas music
  • Elf on the Shelf – that’s Christmas-related [But what about the “Mensch on a Bench?”]
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candy canes

Principal Sinclair’s list had more:

  • Sending a Scholastic book that is a Christmas book – that’s Christmas-related
  • Making a Christmas ornament as a gift – This assumes that the family has a Christmas tree which assumes they celebrate Christmas. I challenge the thought of, ‘Well they can just hang it somewhere else.’
  • Candy Cane – that’s Christmas-related. 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. This would also include different colored candy canes. [Candy canes?  COME ON it’s not a religious item it’s a piece of freaking candy].

But the Principal didn’t stop there:

  • Red/Green items – traditional Christmas colors
  • Reindeer
  • Christmas videos/movies and/or characters from Christmas movies. [She didn’t answer the most important question about Christmas movies ever raised]

Her letter went on:

“I have unknowingly awoken a ‘sleeping giant’ with many of you, I apologize for the stress that ‘Christmas/holiday/ Grinch/Santa/tree’ emails and conversations have caused you.”

“I’m hopeful we can avoid the discomfort of me directly questioning something you’ve copied, posted and had your kids do. That makes me uncomfortable, and I know it doesn’t feel good.”

She ended the memo by calling herself,  “The (Unintentional) Grinch who stole Christmas (from Manchester).”

Thankfully, the Liberty Counsel, a civil rights group, caught wind of this foolishness and sent a cease and desist letter to the school district demanding they back away from the principal’s edict.

The attorneys representing the school district sent the Liberty Counsel a letter stating the district had “investigated this matter and determined that Principal Sinclair’s memorandum did not comply with Board Policy” adding that the school’s staff was instructed to allow “certain Christmas symbols.”

candy canes

Liberty Counsel praised the district for bowing to common sense.

We are pleased that Elkhorn Public Schools promptly reversed Principal Jennifer Sinclair’s unconstitutional directive, and required compliance with the Constitution,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement. “The First Amendment does not require elimination of Christmas. 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. The First Amendment prohibits censorship based on religious viewpoint. This outrageous three-page memo by Principal Sinclair 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.

To make it up to the parents and kids the principal should purchase candy canes for everyone. But that will have to wait because “District spokeswoman Kara Perchal released a statement on behalf of the district indicating that as of Thursday Sinclair had been placed on administrative leave. She said there would be no further comment since it was a personnel issue.”  Ah, administrative leave, you know what that means, she can’t go to work, but she gets paid anyway.

Below is a news report of the incident.


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