The controversy over a high school "Christmas Sweater club" punished for distributing candy canes has sparked national outcry, especially given the principal's reported comments regarding Christmas. But now that controversy has taken another turn, as the school and some of its students offer conflicting views of what happened.
Some students claim the boys were out of control, and injuring others, while others contend they were spreading light and jovial Christmas cheer:
WUSA has been trying to get to the bottom of the story and issued a follow-up report:
What were the intentions of the boys in the Christmas Sweater Club at Battlefield High School? Were they innocent? Did their plan to hand out candy canes get out-of-hand? Whatever your opinion, sides have been taken and people are angry over what happened; or didn't happen.
"I think the administration lost its holiday spirit," said Heather Williams, a mother of the of the boys in the club.
The boys say they were just handing out or gently tossing two inch, wrapped candy canes as students arrived at Battlefield one morning. And several boys who were there back them up.
But Abdus Khan, a senior, saw something different. "They had candy canes and they were chucking them," he said. Khan said he saw a few people who had red marks on their faces where the small candy canes had hit them.
A few postings on our Facebook page describe a similar chaotic, and unfriendly scene. Khan said he heard a few of the boys shouting "Merry f------ Christmas".
The story, however, gained national attention not because a group of high schoolers dressed up and passed out candy canes, but rather because the principal's reported comments seemed to show a bias against Christmas.
But since the school's principal refuses to be interviewed, questions remain regarding her earlier, potentially disturbing, comments. In a previous story, parents quoted her as saying, “not everyone wants Christmas cheer. That suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps.”