N.J. School Concerts May Skip Religious Songs

A New Jersey public school district does not have to include religious songs during its holiday concerts, a federal court has ruled for the second time.

Michael Stratechuk, a father of two children in the district, filed the lawsuit against South Orange-Maplewood School District arguing its policy forbidding religious songs in the school’s holiday concerts constituted hostility toward religion.

Judge William H. Walls’ original decision supporting the district was issued in September 2005 and vacated by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It was sent back for re-argument.

On Aug. 29, Walls dismissed the Stratechuk v. Board of Education, South Orange-Maplewood School District case.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, residents seem in favor of the ruling, posting comments on the town’s on-line discussion board such as “Rockin’ good news!”