School principal put on leave for banning Santa, candy canes, ot - KXXV Central Texas News Now

School principal put on leave for banning Santa, candy canes, other Christmas decorations

(Source: KETV/CNN) (Source: KETV/CNN)

OMAHA, NE (KETV/CNN) - A Christmas controversy in Nebraska has a new school principal on leave.

The Elkhorn School District says the principal banned Christmas decorations from classrooms, and the fact that she didn't consult with the administration about the policy beforehand is a real problem.

"Frankly it was the most outrageous memo we'd ever seen on Christmas," said Mat Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel is an organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom.

In a two-page memo sent to teachers and staff at Manchester Elementary, Principal Jennifer Sinclair laid out her list - highlighting "not acceptable practices" during the holiday season.

That list, banning Christmas in the classroom, includes candy canes because they symbolize a "J" for Jesus. No Santas or Christmas trees are allowed either.

On the "acceptable items" list: snowmen, penguins and holidays around the world.

In her memo, Sinclair calls the list inclusive and culturally sensitive to all students. She signed the memo, "unintentional Grinch who stole Christmas from Manchester."

"But for the fact that some school staff got us involved, she would have been the Grinch in Manchester and would have sent a very terrible message to the school district," Staver.

Staver says the list violates the school district's policy and first amendment laws.

The counsel sent a letter to administration last Friday.

"We were prepared had the school not responded appropriately to file suit this week," Staver said.

Elkhorn School District released a statement saying administration "promptly addressed the issue," and that the memo does "not reflect the policy of Elkhorn Public Schools."

A district spokesperson said the school is receiving a high volume of phone calls from concerned parents and an officer will be present at school in the coming days.

There was no word on how long the principal could be on administrative leave.

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