Locals Fight to Bring Christmas Back to Fayetteville Public Schools

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If you go to any of the Fayetteville Public Schools during the holiday season you may notice one major detail missing, Christmas decorations.

This is due to a policy created back in the 80’s but it is just now being implemented in schools. 

At the Fayetteville Public Schools Building on Thursday night, a board meeting took place filled with locals who are ready to fight to bring Christmas back.

“Christmas is a national holiday, not only is it a national holiday but it’s an intrigal part of American history, of American culture,” said former teacher, Ilma Campbell.

When Fayetteville resident Ila Campbell visited a local elementary school she noticed there were no Christmas decorations for the first time in the 25 years she has been involved in the district. So she did some digging.

“Our district has 10,200 students and they speak 55 different languages and that represents a lot of world cultures so we have to be mindful of that,” said Fayetteville Schools Public Information Officer, Alan Wilbourn.

According to a District Religion Policy passed in 1981, “no religious belief or non-belief should be promoted by the school district or its employees, and none shall be disparaged.”

However, the removal of Christmas decorations has not been fully enforced until this year.

“Why now, what 24 years later are we implementing this policy in such a way, in effect to ban Christmas from the schools,” said Campbell.

Wilbourn said the policy, while first drafted over 30 years ago, has always been a part of the district’s culture. Now it will be strictly followed.

“The focus of our mission statement that was board of education approved this year says that we will provide a safe and inclusive environment and that policy speaks to that,” said Wilbourn. 

As a teacher this is a policy Campbell does not agree with.

“I don’t know of any teacher that doesn’t want her classroom to be inclusive and to be comfortable but I find the policy of political correctness which uses the word inclusion, actually be used as a tool to exclude,” said Campbell.

While the issue was not on the school board meeting agenda Thursday night, concerned citizens were invited to speak.

Wilbourn said the school district along with its board members will answer any questions on the matter and will continue to include all students and families in the area.

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