Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jesus Banned From Christmas Poem

Jesus Banned From Christmas Poem

Andrew White

Mississippi public school teacher, Latasha Atkins, gave her 6th-grade class a creative writing assignment with a choice of three topics. One student, Andrew White, chose "What Christmas Means to Me." Andrew's original poem, which he entitled, "A Great Christmas," reads:

The best Christmas ever is when everyone is there.
It is when everyone is laughing here and there.
That is the Christmas I want to share.
Christmas is about Jesus' birth.
About peace on Earth.
This is what Christmas is about.
It is when He lay in a manger.
And the three wise men come to see.
That's what it means to me.

After White turned in the rough draft of the poem, his teacher circled the word "Jesus," deducted a point from his grade, and asked him to rewrite the poem without using that word. White's parents questioned the teacher about her comments and were told by e-mail that "[Andrew] and another child did a poem about Christ. I know we can't discuss these type [sic] of things in school so I asked the two of them to do another poem of their choice."

But Principal Carrie Hornsby did not agree with Atkins, and sided with Andrew and his parents, changing his grade to a 100 and conceding that there was nothing improper in using Jesus' name. Hornsby also asked each teacher to send out a letter to all the parents explaining that religious expression is permitted under federal guidelines.

Source: The Pastor's Weekly Briefing [family@mail-family.org]



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