Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Return to Sender - part 2

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful CHRISTmas vacation! We did! But now it's back to everyday life, and the continuing saga of the Candy Canes! :)

During our vacation, I was able to get ahold of a friend who is a lawyer for the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice), and she confirmed what we already knew . . . . . we are the ones in the right and the school is wrong! :) It's just nice hearing it from someone who deals with Constitutional laws all the time. She is putting me in contact with someone else at the ACLJ who can help us in resolving this matter. Hopefully all it will take is the ACLJ contacting the school (or school's legal cousel) and explaining the actual law. But I do want to see some sort of follow up at the school - inservices or something along those lines - so that no more of these "misunderstandings" occur again.

Seeing as today is the first day back at school for my public school kids, I fully expected a call from the Principal to address this issue. And guess what?! She actually called. . . . .several times (I was out most of the day). She is actually a nice woman to talk to, and I was in a better frame of mind (and mood) in talking with her today than with the Assistant Principal on Friday December 21st. I'm not sure I will deal with him anymore as I felt very patronized, disrespected and did not enjoy talking to someone who couldn't answer my questions without a defensive (or patronizing) tone in his voice.

The Principal explained to me that she had not called before as she thought I had worked things out with the A.P. and was sorry that things have turned out as they have. She was told that the teacher (and I guess the AP) felt the cards on the candy canes were "a little over the top" in regards to their religious nature and that they could not distribute them in school. I'm sure that "THEY" cannot distrubute such religious literature - but I informed her that my daughter actually has a Constitutional right - as is even stated in their own Dept of Education guidelines (which are the Nat'l guidelines they adopted over 12 years ago) - to distribute religious literature, pray with her friends or talk to them about Christ/religious things during "non-instructional" time at school. She agreed with me that lunch was not an "instructional" part of the day (which the AP tried to tell me it was!). She also told me that the teacher said there were only about 6 kids who actually had their candy canes and cards left to be able to take off the cards. It doesn't matter if there were 100 or 1 - the school still had no right to take them back at all!

We talked about the silliness that surrounds the Christmas/Holiday season - and how, even 20 years ago at her kids school - they couldn't even decorate with red and green!! I did mention to her how ridiculous it was that our school had "Happy Kwanza" and "Happy Hanukkha" but no "Merry Christmas" signs up. We talked about other things slightly related to all this - like how I was offended when my kids teachers brought in Yu Gi Oh cards and a Harry Potter movie on the last day of school last year to keep the kids entertained; how the kids are bringing home menorrahs, Hanukkha and Kwanza projects - but my daughter can't pass out candy canes that say "Jesus" on them; and much more. All in all, it was a descent conversation (though there was plenty more I could've said) and I did keep my cool through it all (yea!). It ended with the Principal saying that she would contact the school's lawyer about it all tomorrow and get back to me in the afternoon. I reminded her several times that I have already spoken with the ACLJ and that I would be happy to have them contact her or the school's lawyer as well if need be. I didn't mention "lawsuit" or anything of that nature as I am still hoping this can be resolved in a peaceful way. We'll see. As long as I don't have to talk with the A.P. again - I will probably remain calm while talking about it. :)

I will update you as more info comes along. But for now . . . dinner is done cooking and my oven buzzer won't stop reminding me! :)

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Happyhome said...

I'm so glad you are not letting this situation fall through the cracks. I'm sure mentioning the ACLJ as you did made them take you seriously. Good for you! Keep us updated on how things progress.