This week’s target? Brooklet Elementary School in Georgia.
On Tuesday, Todd Starnes accused the school of confiscating Christmas cards the teachers posted in the school’s hall during the Thanksgiving break, calling it “Christmas card censorship.”
Brooklet principal Marlin Baker says the story is false.
The decision to move the poster had nothing, absolutely nothing, at all to do with any type of religious conversation that is going on in the county.
Baker also said when the poster was moved, there weren’t any cards on there yet.
Superintendent Charles Wilson said the school has been bombarded with angry phone calls and hate mail ever since the story broke.
I am disappointed. We are trying hard in this community to have a good, healthy dialogue and it seems the intentional spreading of this misinformation – I see it as destructive.
We don’t want this misinformation to derail the positive work we are committed to with our community leaders. I’m appalled by this attack on our school system, and on Brooklet Elementary. We have outstanding faculty, motivated students, and very supportive parents. Our holiday musical is December 17, at 6:30 p.m., and we’d like to invite everyone to attend. This event and all of our long-standing traditions are firmly in place.
Becky Petkewich, a teacher at Brooklet, said when she read the story, it made her upset.
I just couldn’t believe that someone would make up some things like that. The whole country now is looking at us in a negative way, that we’ve done something horrible, that we are not letting the children celebrate Christmas and that’s not what it is.
After Starnes’ report, Bulloch County Schools released this statement explaining why the poster was moved.
Brooklet Elementary School’s (BES) holiday traditions and especially those of Christmas are alive and well,” said BES Principal Marlin Baker. Bulloch County Schools nor BES’s administrators have not, nor do they plan to remove any student’s learning experiences about Christmas or any other seasonal holiday. Students returned Monday from Thanksgiving break, and already student’s holiday artwork is going up on bulletin boards, walls and doorways.
Unfortunately, today the school was terrorized by an intentional and vicious dissemination of untrue information that disrupted the good work going on inside. Fox News Radio Commentary Host Todd Starnes, acting on misinformation that neither he, nor his media outlet corroborated with the school system or Baker, misreported a story about student Christmas Cards being removed from the school. Baker did not receive any questions from the local community either.
The cards in question were not student Christmas cards, nor were they a student project or tradition. The cards are the personal family Christmas cards that faculty members share with one another. They are the personal cards from their homes that they would send to family and friends.
It has been a faculty tradition to post the cards on a small display board made of two pieces of red and green poster paper. The display in the past was posted in hallway outside the office workroom.
This year, due to a legitimate, personal privacy concern raised by one of the school’s staff members, Baker moved the display to the opposite wall inside the office work room so that the staff member could still participate in the tradition. Baker wanted to respect the staff member’s privacy and that of his/her children depicted in the Christmas card.
The display being moved had absolutely nothing to do with the current open and ongoing discussions that the school system is having with local citizens about religious liberties and expression.
For more on this story, please check out the news clip below.