Winter Break vs. Christmas Break

In January of 2015 the St. Charles County School District voted 4-3 in favor of changing the original name of Winter Break to Christmas Break.

Changing the name from Winter Break to Christmas Break devalues the various holidays that lie during this time such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan. These holidays may not make up the majority of students that practice them at schools, but they should not be disregarded and not taken into consideration.

Public school districts are not allowed to embrace or openly practice a specific religion because of the fact that there are students who come from different cultures who may not feel comfortable embracing their religion. Christmas break contradicts that idea of being non denominational while also not going along with the pattern of the names other major breaks have throughout the school year. The school district has Fall, Christmas, Spring, and Summer break. It does not make sense to name a seasonal break Christmas when it indeed should be named Winter.

The school district should support a non denominational name and should change it to original name of Winter break. According to the school district, they believed that there decision was not meant to be disrespectful or devalue the practices of other religions. Their intentions were not to force a certain religion on the religious minority or those who just don’t participate in Christmas. They were very aware of the backlash that they would receive from this decision but followed through with the decision anyway. After the decision was made, according to Fox News in January of 2015,it was reviewed by a law firm and determined that the name change did not in fact violate federal or the Missouri Constitution. Though it still does not justify the decision to not be inclusive in all religions instead of focusing in on the Christian religion of Christmas.

It is unknown if the Francis Howell School District will repeal the decisions in the near future but in should definitely be considered.