A debate is brewing in Oregon this week after one school district asked its staff to refrain from bringing Santa Claus into the classroom this holiday season.
The Hillsboro School District in Oregon sent a memo to its staff about the holidays, asking them to please remove all religious-themed holiday decorations, according to Fox News Insider.
KATU-TV reported that school officials in Hillsboro County banned teachers from decorating with Santa Claus themed images in order to “be respectful and sensitive to the diverse perspectives and beliefs” of the community.
Beth Graser, the district’s communications director, said the Santa ban is meant to make sure all cultures and backgrounds are comfortable at school.
“It really went out as a notification to staff, not even parents, just to make sure they are being sensitive and thoughtful as they enter the holiday season,” Graser said.
Some parents were surprised and unhappy after learning that Santa was not allowed in the classroom.
“If you’re going to put a giant cross on the window that’s one thing, but I think Santa Claus is more folklore and American history than a religious symbol at this point,” said parent James Ramirez.