State lawmaker says Frisco school's winter party rules go agains - Dallas News |

State lawmaker says Frisco school's winter party rules go against new law

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Some parents and a state lawmaker are upset about a party for students at Nichols Elementary in Frisco because it's called a winter party, and because the students will have to follow some party rules that the lawmaker says goes against a newly-passed state law.

Representative Pat Fallon says an angry parent asked why their child, who attends Nichols, won't see a Christmas tree and won't be allowed to say "Merry Christmas" at the school's winter party.

The parent forwarded the Republican an email sent out by the organizer of the school's winter party, and in it, there were three rules listed for the party: no reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday, no red, green or Christmas trees, and nothing that will stain the carpet.

"I agree with number three, but not one and two," said Fallon.

Fallon co-authored HB 308, or the Merry Christmas Law.

It allows students and staff at schools in Texas to say "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy holidays."

Gov. Perry signed it into law earlier this year.

This week, Texas Values, a conservative group, released a radio ad as a holiday reminder of the new rule. The spot is running in the four largest media markets in the state, and closes with the voice of a child saying, "And remember, it's OK to say ‘Merry Christmas.'"

"We're celebrating Christmas, so why can't it be a Christmas party or maybe a holiday party?" said Fallon. "But they've skipped over ‘holiday' and go to ‘winter.' That's political correctness gone too far."

Fallon says he called the superintendent, and was told the party rules were not a district policy.

Then he was told by the district's PTA that kids could say "Merry Christmas."

But then he got a second email from a PTA member. It was a message to other party organizers that read, "Today at the PTA meeting it was stated that they had decided to keep everything the same. She said they didn't want to offend any families and since each family donates money they feel this is the best policy."

"It's my understanding that nothing has changed," said Fallon.

One parent said that the school is very diverse, but the rules don't make sense.

"The kids that are used to saying Christmas," said parent Rosie Ciullo. "They should be able to say ‘Merry Christmas,' and the one who doesn't want to say ‘Merry Christmas,' don't say it -- say it your way."

Wednesday, the school district emailed FOX 4 a response regarding the party rules, saying:

"The school was unaware of this and it was not an official PTA correspondence either. There have never been any limitations on what students wear, what they bring to share with their classmates on party days... what greetings people exchange with each other."


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