Missouri School Board Battles Over Christmas

Responding to public pressure, a Missouri school board has voted to change the name of its December holiday vacation.

In May, the Francis Howell School District voted 4-3 to change its “Winter Break” to “Christmas Break.”

Kim Hutton, a district resident who led the charge for the change, lauded the board’s action, saying “Christmas is as American as apple pie. We can honor the American cultural tradition of Christmas and still be diverse and tolerant.”

A local newspaper, the O’Fallon (Mo.) Journal reported that the Rev. Bob Farr, a board member and a United Methodist minister, criticized the board’s action.

For more than a decade the vacation period was called “Winter Break.” But for many years now, Religious Right groups have been pressuring public schools and government officials to celebrate and recognize Christmas in December. Hutton started agitating last fall for the name change.