Dedra Shannon, a nurse’s aide at the Killeen school district, north of Austin, was told to remove her handmade decoration that featured a Bible verse from the special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965), under the premise that it violated prohibition on religion in classrooms.
Judge Restores ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas Display With Disclaimer
“Ms. Shannon’s Christmas Message”
Photo: Facebook/KSLA News 12
She had posted the display on her door at the Patterson Middle School approximately 2 weeks previous, when the principal ordered it removed. A Texas judge has recently ordered the school district to have the decoration restored, with the additional comment, “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas message.” This last component being required, upon further review, to remove any concept of perceived endorsement of religion by the board.
Encouraging an Inclusive Approach
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had sued to have the door decoration restored, identifying that the state’s 2013 “Merry Christmas” law didn’t mean schools could “silence a biblical reference to Christmas.” In his lawsuit, Paxton stated, “Once again, public schools have decided that their commitment to diversity does not extend to Christians. Neither faculty nor students shed their constitutional rights when they step inside the schoolhouse door. The law in fact encourages school districts to take an inclusive approach to religious and secular celebrations that are both respectful and accepting of different viewpoints.” The Houston Chronicle reported that Judge Jack Jones made his ruling on December 15th that the display should be restored with the added disclaimer: “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas message.”