The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Bernadette Floyd. She gets the award for the following.
PORT ST. LUCIE — For more than a week, Mary Anne Bender helped her 10-year-old daughter learn her Christmas pageant lines and daydream about what costume she'd sew for the after-school play at Windmill Point Elementary.I don't understand it either Ms. Cowart. Who feels threatened by the word Christmas? Just the dumb or foolish in TFM's opinion. What do people like Floyd plan to call December 25th?
But on the second day of practice, fifth-grader Kayla Vance was told she can't play Mrs. Claus in A Penguin Christmas because the principal has axed any mention of the word "Christmas" in holiday festivals.
Kayla Vance, a student at Windmill Point Elementary in Port St. Lucie, was supposed to play Mrs. Claus in the school play A Penguin Christmas. 'My music teacher said she was really sad' when it was canceled, Kayla says.
Criticized last year by a parent who demanded strict separation of church and state issues, Principal Bernadette Floyd has decided instead to take a more generic approach to holidays, school district spokeswoman Janice Karst says.
"It was an unfortunate set of circumstances," said Karst, noting the school's music teacher was unaware of Floyd's policy. "Any reference to a religious holiday has the potential to offend anyone who is not part of that particular persuasion."
Although Karst said Floyd told her there will be "many opportunities" for Kayla to perform during holidays this school year, Bender said the principal told her there's not enough time to reschedule a different holiday play or sing-along this winter.
"The only alternatives she told me about are in the spring," Bender said. "I feel like I have the principal that canceled Christmas."
Floyd did not return a phone call seeking comment, but Karst said principals across the district have moved away from religious-specific celebrations centered around Christmas and Easter and instead staged "winter wonderlands" and "spring flings."
Windmill Point parent Heather Cowart, mom to third-grader Logan, said she was upset last year when Logan's teacher demanded he not bring Santa cupcakes, candy canes or other Christmas-themed treats to a "holiday party." Even donations of canned goods to the needy had to be wrapped in newspaper, not traditional wrapping paper, Cowart said.
Meanwhile, Parkway Elementary School had a Christmas tree in the front lobby last year, and other schools have enjoyed visits from the jolly old elf himself, the parents said.
"I don't understand why these secular things are being taken away from our young children," Cowart said. "Last year Logan got in trouble for saying 'Christmas' in class. Is that a bad word now?"
So called educators are often the most clueless people I get to read about on a daily basis. Bernadette Floyd is the latest example, and she is also today's knucklehead of the day.
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