Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
A PTA of a public school in the Boston area apparently worked behind closed doors to prevent elementary school students from being exposed to the eeeeevil dangers of a...Christmas tree!!! (Cue the impending doom music.)
It's gotten so bad that one news report says that one board member may step down over the controversy over the fear of exposing children to secondhand Christmas.Sheesh. The Butler Elementary School PTA made a decision to cancel the annual field trip to see "The Nutcracker" ballet because supposedly some parents complained about the Christmas tree on stage in some scenes. Maybe they should've taken the kids to see Rent.
Hey, I could see kids objecting to seeing any ballet but let's face it, they're just excited to get out of schoolwork. But is The Nutcracker some crazy evangelistic screed? Not so much. It has about as much to do with Christmas as Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne." But the bigger question is should any mention of Christianity or any symbol of Christianity be forbidden as a topic in school? Do you know how many works of art are Christian inspired? Do you skip over Michelangelo or Raphael because some of their work is religiously inspired? Do music teachers ignore Bach? Should kids be forbidden to read Romeo and Juliet because there's a Friar character in it?
Another question is if some parents were really and truly offended that a Christmas tree makes an appearance on stage, tell them not to sign the stinkin' permission slip. Yes, it's that simple. But there's no report of anyone actually doing that. No, so maybe nobody was actually offended at all. You see, they're not offended enough to not allow their children to go, but they're going to complain enough to make sure all the kids can't go.
So nobody was offended enough to not sign the permission slip but reportedly, those who supported the field trip were told they were guilty of discrimination for allowing children to be exposed to the dangers of secondhand Christmas.
The other thing here is that reportedly the PTA attempted to cancel the trip without even discussing it. No need to rile the riff-raff by talking about these things publicly, right? Those oogedy-boogedy religious fanatics might show up and actually have an opinion. But in the end, after everything became public, the board reversed itself and allowed the children to go see The Nutcracker.
The one thing that this could inspire is that some sane people might actually start showing up to PTA meetings or even run for the board because one never knows when the board may take it upon themselves to protect children from exposure to secondhand Christmas. The greater danger in my opinion is second rate PTA's.