Oregon School District Bans Santa Claus Decorations, Seeks Religious Tolerance

A school district in Oregon has decided to ban religious-themed decorations in the classroom this holiday season.

The district, which made its decision Tuesday, bans images such as Santa Claus, KATU reports.

“You may still decorate your door or office if you like, but we ask that you be respectful and sensitive to the diverse perspectives and beliefs of our community and refrain from using religious-themed decorations or images like Santa Claus,” the district said in a statement to staff.

“It really went out as a notification to staff, not even parents, just to make sure they are being sensitive and thoughtful as they enter the holiday season,” said Beth Graser, communications director for Hillsboro School District.

Some parents are not happy with the new ruling and believe it is unnecessary.

“If you’re going to put a giant cross on the window that’s one thing, but I think Santa Claus is more folklore and American history than a religious symbol at this point,” said parent Jason Ramirez.

“I’m from that generation where we believe in Santa, and my kids believe in Santa, and they should be able to celebrate it,” said one parent.

Graser says she understands the frustration people have about not being allowed to put up holiday decorations, but said the ban is a “reminder to get people to be sensitive.”

This is not the only time holiday decorations were banned in schools.

In 2015, a principal in Brooklyn banned nearly all school holiday decorations and celebrations in the interest of diversity.

In 2013, a teacher at a high school in Connecticut banned Santa Claus and Christmas tree decorations because they were viewed as religious symbols.


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