The war on Christmas seems to have come to a halt in one Pennsylvania school district, which has now backed down on a rule that bus drivers were to remove their bus’s Christmas decorations to appear more inclusive to the townsfolk. The Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, which is close to Philadelphia, made the move public in a memo that they would be walking back the anti-Christmas rule.
In the initial letter sent to bus drivers, shared by Chris O’Connell on X, the school district demanded the following. “If you have decorated your bus with anything specific to the Christmas Holiday or any other decorations relating to a specific religion, please remove them immediately. In addition, employees are instructed not to wear clothing related to Christmas or any other religious Holiday.”
This comes in response to what the memo called “complaints from parents” regarding bus drivers showing off their favorite December Holiday through decorations and fun apparel as they drop the children at school. After the backlash, the school district decided to walk back that initial rule, going as far as saying that they never intended to stop bus drivers from having Christmas decorations.
Now, Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseilles claims that the memo was a misunderstanding and that the Supervisor of Transportation incorrectly interpreted the new rule to be put in place. Backing off of the restriction that had drawn so much negative attention to the district, he spoke about the error.
He wrote in a letter, “In response to community concerns I have received about religious neutrality, I reminded the Supervisor of Transportation to remind you to find a balance of the District’s attempts to be inclusive of a diverse range of holiday traditions. To the extent that this reminder led to the communication that decorations and songs typically associated with the Christmas holiday were not permitted, this was not the intent, and efforts have been made internally to clarify this point to avoid any confusion moving forward.”
According to WSET, he went even one step further, saying to parents, “I did not intend — in any way — for drivers to feel they needed to turn off the holiday music, take down all the decorations or not wear any holiday clothing. I want to be abundantly clear that we are not in any way trying to remove all signs of Christmas from our school buses or our schools.”
Commenters all over the internet were incensed at the idea that bus drivers would not be allowed to spread holiday cheer while driving their big yellow transportation machines. Many people were also upset at the blatant disregard for the opinion of the city in the making of the new rule.
In walking back the rule, the school district righted a wrong in the eyes of the townspeople. The swiftness of the memo comes just in time to save the Christmas season with images of holiday cheer for the young boys and girls who love to celebrate their favorite time of year. A victory all around.
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