New Jersey School Ban on Christian Christmas Carols Overturned

ICC Note: After receiving complaints, media attention, and a formal letter from a conservative legal organization, a New Jersey school has decided to overturn its unconstitutional ban on religious music during school programs. The ban was imposed on elementary schools in the Bordentwon Regional School District by the superintendent of schools Constance J. Bauer after she allegedly received complaints about Christian Christmas music being used during school productions. The move was derided as a misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitutions First Amendment, which provides for the separation of church and state and in recent years has been used to push for the complete removal of Christianity from the public sphere. 

11/5/2013 Charisma (United States) – The Bordentown Regional School District has withdrawn its ban on religious Christmas carols in concert performances at the district’s elementary schools.

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the district on Oct. 28 after administrators implemented the ban. The letter explained the ban was both unnecessary and unconstitutional.

“Schools shouldn’t have to think twice about whether they can allow students to perform Christmas carols,” says legal counsel Matthew Sharp. “The school district has done the right thing in allowing religious Christmas carols to be part of its schools’ productions. As our letter explained, courts have unanimously upheld their inclusion in such productions—even when songs deal with Christian themes that are naturally a part of the holiday.”

On Friday, Superintendent of Schools Constance J. Bauer posted a notice to parents on the district’s website that states, “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.”

Previously, Bauer had publicly stated that “religious music should not be part of the elementary program(s).” She then banned any and all religious music in the December concerts that the district’s elementary schools normally hold.

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