Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, January 02, 2015

School Reverses Decision to Cancel “Nutcracker”

A wonderful Christmas tradition was preserved last month for students in the Butler Elementary School in Belmont, Mass. It seems that the PTA was secretly planning to cancel an annual trip to see the Nutcracker Ballet! Why would they cancel this tradition that the school has had for years? It seems that some parents felt that the Nutcracker contains “questionable content” and it would be improper for students because Nutcracker includes a Christmas tree on the stage.

The issue became so heated, that the PTA developed a secret plan to cancel the field trip without telling anyone. Despite this under-handed move, the news spread. This upset many of the parents and forced the issue at a PTA meeting in November. One source claimed that parents were being told that they were being discriminatory if they supported the field trip to this ballet. Many others disagreed. One dad told the local news “I went once as a kid. I think it’s anybody’s choice. They should still offer it, but you don’t have to go if you don’t like it.” Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the trip was reinstated.

Justifying the showing, PTA Co-President Barbara Bulfoni said, “In the past years, there were parent complaints as ‘The Nutcracker’ has a religious content. I think we clarified with the parents.” If by religious content, she means the fact that they are celebrating Christmas, a holiday during which we celebrate Christ’s arrival to the world, then yes – The Nutcracker is full of religious content, and so are countless songs, books, stories, and pieces of art from the last two thousand years. Parents from the district are happy that they won this fight, but many are concerned it will come up again next year. One parent remarked, “I’ve had four kids go to the school. My fourth is here, and they all enjoy [seeing the Nutcracker].”

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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