Have yourself an inclusive little Christmas . . .

Oh, for cryin' out loud.

Last week, a high school principal in Bangor, Maine, banned a math teacher from having a little pink Christmas holiday Hello Kitty tree in her classroom for the holidays. She says she was told it was too "religious," although I'm still trying to figure out what religion Hello Kitty is associated with.

Pink Xmas Tree.flickrCC.Kara
Maybe the principal has a point. This tree is quite offensive.

The teacher was irritated, rightfully so, and went on Facebook to complain that "everything offends everyone all the time - it just sucks the joy out of everything." Then a couple of TV stations picked up the story, as well as boston.com (linked above) and the Daily Mail. Even a Congressman got involved.

Apparently there really is a Santa Claus, because yesterday the principal backed down (right before "winter break," so it's probably a moot point, but better late than never) and said that Catherine Gordon can keep her little tree.

Hello Kitty Wreath.flickrCC.Christiana
"Yay!"

Employers, here is some food for thought: Instead of being afraid to acknowledge the existence of any holiday with a religious element to it, how about doing the opposite, and being truly inclusive by celebrating everybody's holidays, or at least letting them celebrate it in their own way? Let your Jewish employees light their menorahs and all dance the hora (but not now, because Chanukah 2015 ended a little more than a week ago). Let your Muslim employees party like it's 1999 for Eid al-Fitr, when Ramadan is over. Let your Wiccans light their candles and yule logs, and sing pagan carols.

And let your Christians have a merry Christmas. With or without Hello Kitty.

Image Credits: From flickr, Creative Commons license, pink Christmas tree by Kara; Hello Kitty wreath by Christiana. 

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
Continue Reading

Subscribe

Back to Page