Precinct 333

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Santa Not Allowed, But Administrators Played Grinch

Hampton Academy Junior High School held a "Holiday Dance" on Friday night. That isn't unusual.

Bryan Lafond decided it would be neat to go dressed as Santa Claus. After all, it is a "Holiday Dance," and Santa is a well-recognized secular symbol of one of those holidays.

"I went to the dance with my friend," said Bryan Lafond, who is in seventh grade. "He had an elf hat on and we thought it was pretty cool. Everyone loved the suit, but when I went by the principal, he asked why I was dressed like that."

Principal Fred Muscara said he told the boy he couldn’t get into the dance because he was wearing the costume.

"It was a holiday party," said Muscara. "It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that."

Bryan said while Muscara didn’t say he had to leave, he told Bryan if he wanted to go the dance he would have to change out of the suit and put on proper attire for the dance.

Having nothing to change into, Bryan left the dance to try and find his mother.

"My wife was leaving the parking lot when she saw Bryan running out of the building," said (Bryan's father, Michael) Lafond. "He told her that the principal said it was politically incorrect to wear the Santa outfit."

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(Bryan before the dance)

Please note the reasoning. "Separation of church and state." This despite the fact that the US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled Santa Clause to be a secular symbol. Apparently the administrators were fearful that someone might think the dreaded "C-word" ("Christmas", not "c*nt" or "c*ck", either one of which would apparently have been perfectly acceptable) and be offended.

But the principal didn't stop there.

She said she also complained to several School Board members and Muscara.

On Monday, Bryan’s parents went before the School Board to voice their concerns.

"I don’t want this to happen again," said Leslie (Lafond, Bryan's mother). "It is unacceptable. When Bryan returned to the school, the principal said, ‘What are you doing, trying to get me fired.’ That is not a proper comment to make to a student."
I certainly hope they are trying to get this example of the Peter Principle in action fired. The same Constitution that applies in the rest of the United States also applies in New Hampshire.

Contact Principal Fred Muscara.

Contact Superintendent James Gaylord.

Contact School Board Members Ken Stiles,
Carol Hollingworth, Josh Bridle, Sandra Nickerson, and Nancy Serpis.

Hampton Academy Junior High
29 Academy Ave.
Hampton, NH 03842
ph - 603.926.2000
ph - 603.926-2009
fax - 603.926.1855

School Administrative Unit #21 Office
2 Alumni Drive
Hampton, NH 03842
ph - 603.926.8992
fax - 603.926.5157

Maybe they just need a little coal in their stockings.

UPDATE: Seems to me that Grinchitis afflicts not just Muscara, but Supt. Gaylord and Board members Serpis and Bridle as well. Not only that, but they want to turn this into an issue of Bryan Lafond leaving the school to catch a ride home with his mother rather than the rampant intolerance of Muscara's action.

I know this is a blue state, but my hope is that the locals have sense enough to send the whole bunch packing at the first opportunity.

Also there's this great editorial from the Manchester Union Leader.


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