Just call it Christmas, school board rules
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Thursday, November 25, 2010 10:39AM PST
A school district in B.C.'s Fraser Valley is putting Christmas back into the December school break, but not everyone is feeling merry about it.
The Chilliwack School District unanimously passed a motion Tuesday night to restore the term "Christmas Holidays" over the more politically correct "Winter Break."
Trustee Heather Maahs introduced the idea after noticing the school calendar didn't mention Christmas.
"I thought ‘oh, for goodness sakes – it's Christmas!" she told ctvbc.ca in a telephone interview.
"That's what it is, so we should call it that. We get a Christmas tree and we go Christmas shopping. It's just simple."
The board's decision was slammed by the Chilliwack Teachers' Association, who said the surprise agenda item isn't inclusive to all the families and students in the district.
President Katharin Midzain said the decision is inappropriate because the district isn't a faith-based system.
"We don't have prayers in schools. It's just not Christmas for everyone so we shouldn't call it that," she told ctvbc.ca.
Maahs shrugged aside the notion people in other cultures may object to the use of the term Christmas if they don't celebrate it, saying she has yet to hear any complaints.
"I got an email from someone this morning saying ‘I am not a Christian but I want to congratulate you because political correctness has gone too far,'" she said.
Maahs equated the move to reflect the religious holiday in the public schools to a "political correction backlash" in Canada.
"In the interests of making everyone comfortable we've tossed out the traditions we have used in the country for so many years," she said.
But Midzain said the school board shouldn't buck the trend for an issue that could be construed as insensitive disrespectful.
"We're not saying people can't celebrate Christmas. They absolutely can. It's great on their big religious holiday they have a nice long break – but it's just not inclusive."
Have your say: Should the December school break be called "Christmas Holidays?"