Two parents of fifth grade students at a Pennsylvania elementary school had the performance of the Charles Dicken’s Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol,” canceled because a line in the play personally offended them.
The two unnamed parents of the fifth graders at Centerville Elementary school in Lancaster County, were allegedly offended by Tiny Tim’s words when he said, “God bless us, every one.”
Jane Burkhardt, a resident in the very religious community, said,“I was very surprised because it’s going on for decades and it’s a tradition at the school that everyone looks forward to.One little line shouldn’t ruin it for every kid. Charles Dickens is a class author, not a religious author.”
The school’s principal Tom Kramer, posted a message on the school’s website saying, “We understand that some parents are upset that the play was cancelled, but we have heard from families on both ends of the spectrum, including those who expressed appreciation that the play, as it had traditionally been prepared and delivered, was cancelled.”
Kramer also said that,“Our decision is rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural and religious backgrounds represented by the students attending Centerville Elementary.”
The school administration said their decision was based on the amount of time it took to produce the show (about 20 hours). Yet the school has been producing and performing the show for the last 40 years.
Kramer said, “Given the changes in state standards in recent years, we could not defend the commitment of this kind of instructional time to something not part of the fifth-grade curriculum.”
When interviewed by Todd Starnes, of Fox News and Commentary; Randy Wenger, a longtime resident of Lancaster County and the chief counsel for The Independence Law Center in Harrisburg, had this to say about the play’s cancellation;
“As a constitutional attorney I hate to see traditions taken away in my own community. “What does this communicate to our kids? It says that anything religious is really not appropriate in public life. It’s something you’re supposed to keep to yourself.”
Wenger said, “Lancaster County is a conservative area and has a rich history of religious liberty.”
“It seems like people are trying to take away our traditions left and right,” he said. “We need to do something to push back.”
This may be the most outrageous “War on Christmas” story of the year. https://t.co/t7Sc3WaLGw
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 17, 2016
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