Thursday, May 23, 2013

Texas Legislature Passes Bill On Winter Holidays In Schools

On Monday, the Texas legislature gave final passage and sent to the governor for his signature HB 308 that attempts to protect public schools' teaching about Christmas and Hanukkah.  The bill provides:
(a) A school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including: (1)"Merry Christmas"; (2)"Happy Hanukkah"; and (3)"happy holidays."
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a school district may display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas image such as a nativity scene or Christmas tree, if the display includes a scene or symbol of: (1) more than one religion; or (2) one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.
(c) A display relating to a traditional winter celebration may not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.
National Post reports on the bill's passage.