Indiana Senate Passes Merry Christmas Bill
Hoosier lawmakers are spreading some holiday cheer a bit early this year. Earlier this week, the Indiana Senate unanimously voted in favor of a bill permitting holiday merriment in schools.
This piece of legislation gives schools the freedom to engage in holiday festivities by decorating with Nativity scenes and menorahs, as long as they are used in conjunction with a secular symbol or something representative of at least one other religion.
In addition, the bill allows the history of winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah to be taught, as well as lessons on the origins of holiday greetings.
Supporters of the bill say the state has not had many issues with schools prohibiting holiday parties for students; however, under this bill, lawmakers say there will be no question that the holidays are encouraged in Indiana.
"Christmas is under attack," said Senator Jim Smith. "That's just crazy that we even have to move a bill like that, but I think it's very well needed in the state and in every state."
Opponents argue that the state does not have the right give schools permission to observe Christmas, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have found the pairing of religious and secular symbols unconstitutional.
The bill needs the approval from the House and the governor before it becomes law.