A group of parents in Missoula, Mont. are upset over the religious nature of Christmas songs performed at a local elementary school – alleging the songs about the Baby Jesus is unconstitutional and a “form of bullying.”
The parents, who declined to be identified, are threatening to sue the Missoula County Public School District unless songs like “Joy to the World” and “Good Christian Men Rejoice” are replaced with secular tunes.
“Bullying is such a hot topic, yet that seems to be what is occurring here,” the parents wrote in a letter obtained by The Missoulian. “When the children are singing about the lord and savior Jesus Christ – public school is not the place.”
The complaint came from parents who have children attending Chief Charlo Elementary School. A number of students are Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim.
They said they have no problem with Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus – but the real reason for the Christmas season has no place in school concerts, they argued.
“One of the largest complaints last year was the young children singing about “their Lord,” they wrote.
Superintendent Alex Apostle told The Missoulian that he takes separation of church and state issues seriously.
“These are difficult waters sometimes, and I think we are moving forward in a respectful way,” he told the newspaper. “We as a school system, want our children to enjoy the holiday season. In the process, we are obviously respectful of the beliefs and cultures of all children and their families.