Editorial: Christmas gets too much focus in school compared to other holidays

editorialDecember is the season where all the holiday festivities officially start, both in schools and around communities. Here at WGHS, a clear focus on a certain holiday, Christmas, can be seen.

The “separation of church and state,” comes from the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, ratified in 1791. According to the United States Courts, “ The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from establishing a religion.”

While there is nothing expressly stating a separation of church and state, it can be implied for schools that are state-funded, like Webster Groves High School.

According to The Free Speech Center, “Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, was the first public official to use the ‘Separation of Church and State’ ‘metaphor.”

In addition, the website states the most famous use of this metaphor was in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association. He declared that when the Establishment Clause was adopted, a “wall of separation between the church and state” was also created.

Although this wall exists, the separation that the Establishment Clause is meant to create seems to have some faults. It is hard to keep religion from being fully left out of state-funded institutions. Because of this, certain religious holidays, specifically around December tend to get recognition, some of them more than others.

While there are holidays throughout December, such as Hanukkah running from Dec.18 to Dec. 26, or Kwanzaa running from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Christmas is the dominating holiday of December.

The winter break that the students receive is almost always referred to as “Christmas Break.” In the days leading up to the break, Christmas celebrations can be seen all around Webster Groves High School. From Christmas coloring sheets once assignments are done, to Christmas music being played by students, to Christmas themed worksheets, December at Webster Groves High School is filled with Christmas festivities. What December seems to be lacking, though, is representation of other holidays.

Rarely do the other December holidays, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, get representation. They might get a mention in passing, or a teacher might bring them up here and there, but other than that they get almost nothing.

A clear divide between the celebration of December holidays can be seen. This problem could simply be fixed by teachers making sure all December holidays are taught, instead of a focus on just Christmas. High school students can also go out and learn about these other holidays and educate their friends on them. By trying to learn about these other December holidays, one can create great change.

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