We’re seven months away from the start of the holiday season, but one town is already battling over Christmas.
Amid ongoing debate, a Massachusetts school committee rejected a proposal at a meeting Wednesday to change the name of “winter recess” to once again include “Christmas.”
The decision came after residents in Norwood, Mass., voted overwhelmingly in favor of changing the title of Norwood Public School District’s winter break back to “Christmas recess” in a nonbinding referendum held Monday.
While only 18 percent of registered voters showed up to vote, 76 percent of them were in favor of a return to “Christmas,” the Boston Globe reported.
At the school committee meeting, a council member requested a compromise in calling the vacation period the “Christmas/winter recess,” but the board rejected the request.
There was a great deal of division among the committee members before the measure failed in a 2-to-2 vote. While the compromise was proposed by committeeman Paul Samargedlis, who said that the issue wasn’t “just a one sided argument,” chairwoman Rau Rogers spoke against it.
“The tone of the referendum was not compromise,” Rogers said, according to the Globe. “To change it back is exclusionary.”
As TheBlaze previously reported, the debate over school vacation began after the Norwood Public School District decided to drop “Christmas” from the name of recess in the 2011-2012 school year.
The decision was based on the feeling that naming the week and a half vacation “Christmas” gave preference to that holiday over others on the calendar, school committee member John Badger told Wicked Local.
Discontented with this decision, locals Theresa McNulty and Jim Drummey recently gathered enough signatures to hold the non-binding referendum.
“We think there is a movement in our country to demote Christianity and Christmas is the name of a Christian feast day,” McNulty told the outlet. “Christmas is the name of a national holiday. They changed the name of a national holiday to winter recess, and that offended us.”
And Drummey added similar sentiment in a recent interview with WFXT-TV. He said the intent isn’t to exclude non-Christians and that God plays a central role in the nation’s founding.
“Our country is based on belief in God, the Declaration of Independence mentions God five different times so that’s an important part of our tradition and we don’t think it should be tossed aside for old man winter,” Drummey said.
The two had previously predicted that 70 percent of locals would support the change back to Christmas. It appears, based on the final vote tally, that they had a good read on residents’ intentions.
That said, the non-binding referendum clearly failed to persuade the school board. The committee plans to discuss the issue at a future meeting.
(H/T: Boston Globe)
Featured image via Shutterstock.com