14 December 2010

Highschooler: Let's not discriminate against anyone's beliefs, including mine

Over at the Creative Minority Report, Matthew Archbold passes along a letter written by Chelsea Phelps, a junior in a Canadian school to her local paper (with my emphases):

I am a Grade 11 student at North Delta Secondary school.

When I walked into school Monday morning, I couldn’t help but notice that the bulletin board just outside of our counselor’s office did not say Merry Christmas, but rather Happy Holidays.

This bothered me and I will tell you why. Earlier this year the global unity club, which is in charge of this board, had put up displays for Eid, a Muslim tradition, and Diwali, a Hindu and Sikh tradition.

That’s not the problem – the problem for me is that they are trying to support global unity and diversity, which I will admit our school is very good at.

However, they are not willing to recognize Christmas, a once religious holiday now celebrated world wide by every almost every culture.

Christmas is one of Canada’s national holidays and, may I remind you that without it, we wouldn’t be having “winter break” as it is now known.

Why are we allowed to have a Christmas tree in the foyer of our school but the board can’t post a simple message of “Merry Christmas?”

When I asked the sponsor teachers in charge of the group, I was given nothing but endless excuses such as “it is the students’ idea; there are many holidays around this time” and, my favourite one by far, “not everyone celebrates Christmas.”

If those really were the reasons, why can’t the bulletin board say “Happy Hanukkah” one week and “Merry Christmas” the next?

It is completely unfair to say, “not everyone celebrates Christmas” because I for one do not celebrate either Eid or Diwali.

I am not trying to start a war or create a struggle. I would appreciate it if we did not discriminate against anyone’s traditions or beliefs, including mine.
Good for her!

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