A principal at an elementary school in Pennsylvania has canceled its production of “A Christmas Carol” due to complaints about a line said during the play and concerns about it taking too much time out of classroom instruction.
Officials at Centerville Elementary School in East Hempfield Township said they canceled the play because it took too much time away from classroom instruction, but many parents believe it was because two parents complained about a line said in the play, Fox News reports.
The unnamed parents reportedly complained about the line “God bless us, everyone” said by Tiny Tim.
“I was very surprised because it’s been going on for decades and it’s a tradition at the school that everybody looks forward to,” said Jane Burkhart, who knows children at the school, to WHTM.
Tom Kramer, the principal of the school, said in a statement that his decision was “rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural and religious backgrounds represented by the students” and that the play took up 15-20 hours of classroom instruction time, WPMT reported.
“It’s not a part of the written curriculum of fifth grade, but students and teachers were required to participate in it and we can’t allow that to continue,” said Shannon Zimmerman, a district spokeswoman.
District officials say parents are encouraged to organize their own after-school play instead.