A school principal has been placed on administrative leave after she banned candy canes because the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus.
Jennifer Sinclair sent a memo to teachers at Manchester Elementary School in Nebraska, last week with instructions about decorations in their classrooms.
Ms Sinclair wrote that generic winter decorations of snowflakes, polar bears, snowmen and penguins were acceptable as well as Olaf from the movie Frozen.
Christmas-themed decorations were banned so as not to offend anyone who doesn’t celebrate the holiday.
These included Santa, Christmas trees, Elf on the Shelf, reindeer, any red and green items and candy canes.
‘Historically, the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus,’ she wrote in the missive, according to KETV.
‘This assumes that the family has a Christmas tree which assumes they celebrate Christmas. I challenge the thought of, ‘Well they can just hang it somewhere else’,’ she wrote.
‘We are not to be doing any Christmas or holiday-specific themed activities with students,’ Ms Sinclair also added.
‘We have varied religious beliefs in our school, and it is our job to be inclusive.’
She also wrote: ‘Please reflect on what you’ve already copied, prepped and posted,’ she wrote.
‘I’m hopeful we can avoid the discomfort of me directly questioning something you’ve copied, posted and had your kids do.
‘That makes me uncomfortable, and I know it doesn’t feel good. Signed, The (Unintentional) Grinch who stole Christmas (from Manchester).’
Christian organization Liberty Counsel got a hold of the memo and sent a letter to Elkhorn Public Schools District demanding the ban be lifted.
Officials said the memo doesn’t reflect the district’s policy on holiday symbols in schools.
A district spokesman said Sinclair was placed on leave on Thursday morning.
Ms Sinclair, who is a new principal, didn’t consult with administrators about the policy about handling religious holiday themes, the spokesman told KETV.
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