Bordentown School Backs Off Religious Christmas Song Ban
Bordentown schools will be allowed to perform songs of "traditional and religious origins" during this season's Christmas concerts after all.
As first reported by New Jersey 101.5, Superintendent Dr. Constance J. Bauer, posted an announcement on the district’s website on October 18 stating that after “some musical selections for the elementary winter concerts were questioned,” an attorney for the district advised “that religious music should not be part of the elementary program(s).”
Following an outcry of protest from the community, Bauer changed course on Friday to allow the songs.
In reviewing additional legal considerations and advice on this matter and the expressed sentiments of the community at large, I have reconsidered the decision on the musical selection for the upcoming winter programs so that pieces with traditional and historical religious origins will be permitted. Concurrently, the Board will continue its review of the larger policy implications for the future.
On October 31, Bauer posted a message on the district website addressing media attention to the issue and explained that there were three songs "that focused on the birth of Jesus." She said the school board did not have a lot of time to review the case and had removed the songs at the advice of their lawyers, Parker McCay.
"Our goal as a district is to be inclusive and non-offensive, yet we want to respect all religions and traditions," wrote Bauer in asking for patience.
The story drew national attention and the ire of Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly who labeled Bauer a "pinhead."
- Christmas music ban? / Fox News
David Matthau contributed to this report