Wicked plots against the righteous…
Clandestine communications from the Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) “Equity Committee” indicate a push to “decenter Christmas,” a movement that seeks to deprecate America’s culturally and religiously primary holiday into nothingness.
A recent email from the Equity Committee outlines the effort to essentially destroy Christmas (and Thanksgiving), among other things:
Good morning all!
The Equity Committee wanted to send an email to explain some of what we’ve been doing, as well as some info on equity expectations for staff. We know this will be a review for many of you, but since we have so many new faces, we felt this was important information to share.
Our work over the last few years has included the following:
We created a calendar of holidays, events, and announcements to recognize as many different cultures and religions as possible. We’ve worked hard to de-center Christmas. We’ve also worked to stop teaching the stereotypical Thanksgiving story.
At the end of last year, we were focusing on LGBTQ+ students and community members – PD about the importance of respecting pronouns, using ungendered language, need for representation. This work will continue in the coming weeks.
In previous years, we focused on dismantling some policies around stereotypes and race –
We don’t ask kids to remove hats or hoods
We worked with the leadership team to conquer book study groups after we read Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond to allow for differentiated conversations.
- We Got This!
- So You Want to Talk about Race?
- This Book is Anti-Racist
Our goal has been to create a culture where staff feel as if they can ask hard questions, to ask for clarification or more information if they are struggling with our equity work.
An explanatory link provided by the Equity Committee further elaborates on the “decenter Christmas” effort:
“When I say “De-center Christmas in your classroom,” that does not mean I am shutting down your religious beliefs and practices. I’m not banning holidays from the classroom. What I mean is stop and think about how you are perpetuating a HIERARCHY of Christian beliefs and culture in your classroom. Even if your classroom is made up 100% of Christian students or you teach at a Christian school, how are you going to teach your students that not ONE religion and holiday is superior to others? How are you teaching your students that ALL religions and cultures are valued at the SAME IMPORTANCE as Christian holidays and traditions?
Please note that having one dreidel or Kinara up in your room does not make your class a culturally responsive space if everything else is decked out in red and green, AND that while so much of Christmas considered “normalized” or “mainstream,” thing like elves, Santa, and reindeer are STILL Christmas symbols.
Also note that in a time when millions of children are in virtual school and have teachers policing them in their own homes, virtual Elf on the Shelf in Zoom classes is NOT appropriate.
Finally, address this time of year as “December holidays” not “The Holidays” because this is NOT the holiday season for non-Christian religions.
If you do choose to bring in December holidays to your class, do so with a trauma informed lens and emphasize self-care because you do not know what this time of year represents to your students, who they may have lost, and who they may be mourning.”
According to the presenter, the ultimate goal is to: “dismantle the hierarchy of religious practices and holidays.”
Recommended “resources” on the subject include:
Problems with Christmas Curriculum from Teaching Tolerance
Analyzing the School Holiday Calendar from Teaching Tolerance
A Racial Justice Guide to The Winter Holiday Season for Educators and Families from the Center for Racial Justice in Education
Five Ways Christian Privilege Shows Up During the Winter Holiday Season by Miri Mogielevsky
Christian Culture in US Schools by Paul Kivel
Culturally Responsive Instruction for Holiday and Religious Celebrations by Dr. Cynthia Lundgren and Gisele Lundy-Ponce
While the CCS “Equity Committee” seeks to recognize and elevate cultural celebrations foreign to the United States, it portrays our own culture and holidays as exclusionary and racist.
And, while Charlottesville City Schools attacks and marginalizes America’s key religious, foundational holiday celebrations—Christmas and Thanksgiving—it is not coincidental that violence, hatred, and debauchery spiral unchecked in our local government schools and manifest broadly in the surrounding community.