'Christmas Bill' would change the way students are taught about - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

'Christmas Bill' would change the way students are taught about holidays


It's a debate that happens every year, though not always in April. State lawmakers are debating who can say "Merry Christmas."

A bill in the House could change the way children are taught about the holidays in our schools.

It's been dubbed the Christmas Bill by lawmakers. House Bill 4458 centers around saying the phrase "Merry Christmas" and putting up nativity scenes in South Carolina schools, a debate that's usually focused on department stores at Christmas time.

The Christmas Bill, if it passes, would put "Christ" back in Christmas as well as the draedel, the yule log, and the Festivus pole.

The bill would require all winter holidays to be acknowledged, not just religious holidays.

In fact, the proposed bill explicitly states a school district can put up a holiday display- so long as it includes symbols from "more than one religion or a secular scene as well" so long as the symbols are equal in number.

The real question is what secular holidays are out there? There are a few, like Saturnalia, the Winter Solstice celebration, and New Year's.     

Of course, plans for Christmas displays all depend on whether this bill will actually pass. One member of Rep. Bill Sandifer's office says he expects it will if it can meet its deadline.

The House is rapidly approaching what's called crossover: the May 1 deadline for bills to make it to a vote this session. With the proposed bill's next reading just a few days before May, it could be close.

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