Texas Judge Prevents Ban on Charlie Brown Christmas Display

A Texas judge signed an order stopping the Killeen School District from banning a Charlie Brown Christmas display.

The only change to the Christmas display the Bell County judge ordered is that the name of the staffer be added to the display so it is clear that the message is from the school staffer. It will now also bear the text “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas Message.”

Dedra Shannon filed the lawsuit after trustees at the school district voted 6-1 to keep a ban on her Christmas display.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, the school board ignored the advice of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and voted to back the ban on a Charlie Brown Christmas display. The Charlie Brown Christmas door decoration bore the following quote from “A Charlie Brown Christmas:”

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord. That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

Breitbart Texas reported that the controversial issue had been placed on the school board agenda for Tuesday. Only school board President Terry Delano voted against the continued ban of the Christmas display.

As reported by Breitbart Texas on Friday, a Texas school principal told the staffer she had to remove the part of a Charlie Brown Christmas decoration display that included a quote from Linus which included the word “Christ.” The quote was a message about the meaning of Christmas. Principal Kara Trevino was reported to have told the school staffer, Dedra Shannon, that it was “an issue of separation of church and state.”

After the court’s decision granting the temporary restraining order against the Killeen Independent School District, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement:

Religious discrimination towards Christians has become a holiday tradition of sorts among certain groups. I am glad to see that the court broke through the left’s rhetorical fog and recognized that a commitment to diversity means protecting everyone’s individual religious expression.

The Texas Attorney General intervened in a lawsuit after it was filed on Shannon’s behalf. At the time of the intervention, Attorney General Paxton said:

Once again, public schools have decided that their commitment to diversity does not extend to Christians. Neither faculty nor students shed their constitutional rights when they step inside the schoolhouse door. The law in fact encourages school districts to take an inclusive approach to religious and secular celebrations that are both respectful and accepting of different viewpoints. Killeen ISD made a clear legal error when it decided it had to censor staff member Dedra Shannon’s Christmas decoration simply because it incorporated some religious terminology.

The “Merry Christmas Law” as it is referred to, was passed in 2013 to address such situations say opponents of the school and school district’s actions. Texas HB 308 amended Texas Education Code to protect the right of students and teachers to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. Texas State Representative Dwayne Bohac was the author of the “Merry Christmas Bill.”

Plaintiff Dedra Shannon was represented by Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

Plea in Intervention – Killeen ISD by lanashadwick on Scribd


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