Christmas in the classroom

Christmas in the classroom

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

A new bill gives teachers the power to say Merry Christmas without the fear of a lawsuit.

Second grader, Holly Standridge, is in the Christmas spirit. Her favorite thing to say over the holiday season, "Merry Christmas!!!!"

But not everybody is as comfortable saying those two words.

"It's very disturbing when you hear an undercurrent of people that aren't comfortable talking about it. They want to say happy holidays," said Holly's father Rob Standridge, who is also a state senator. 

A new bill could change that.

"Oklahoma we declare it is ok in the school houses to say Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah," said Representative Ken Walker. 

Walker is co-authoring the "Merry Christmas bill."

The measure would allow schools to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah and use religious-based imagery in the classroom.

"They have the right to express their core beliefs and celebrate winter traditions without the fear of lawsuit retribution or reprisal," said Walker.

Not everyone is on board with the bill. Red McCall is the president of the Oklahoma Atheists. He said religion does not belong in the classroom.

"The establishment clause of the first amendment is basically saying that government has no business saying any religion has precedent over another one. You're just better to have an even playing field and having a secular environment is best for that." 

Rob just wants his little ones to be able to share their traditions, "We can change all the names we want but at the end of the day it's still Christmas."

We reached out to Oklahoma City, Edmond and Mid-Del schools. All said they do not comment on potential legislation. State Superintendent Janet Barresi was not available for an interview but a spokesperson with her office says the superintendent supports teachers and students saying "Merry Christmas."
 

 

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