A Wisconsin school district reversed its decision to limit Christmas music in December.
Fifteen elementary schools in the Wausau School District recently cancelled all holiday concerts. And Wausau West High School decided not to perform its traditional Christmas concert. These schools were responding to a district directive aimed at silencing religious music.
“Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to sing Christmas carols in a holiday production,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Litigation Counsel Rory Gray. “Courts have unanimously upheld their inclusion — even when songs deal with Christian themes that are naturally a part of the holiday.”
Administrators had given music teachers in the district three options for December concerts. They could: choose five secular or non-religious songs for each religious song performed; leave out all holiday music; or postpone December concerts.
ADF sent a letter to the district last week reminding officials “that including Christmas carols and other religious music in school choir programs fully complies with the First Amendment.” The legal firm urged officials to dropped its restrictions.
“Public outcry” contributed to the district’s decision to reverse its policy late last week, according to ADF.
“Misinformation about the First Amendment is frequently what leads to censorship of constitutionally permissible and culturally significant songs performed during Christmas concerts,” added Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Americans are free to communicate what Christmas is about during the Christmas season, and that includes singing Christmas carols at public schools.”