When Texan Dedra Shannon, a middle school staffer at a middle school, hung up a poster that featured a Christmas message, she never expected it would need to be removed out of concern for offending non-Christian students.
Shannon decided to use an uplifting scene from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to inspire one poster for Patterson Middle School's holiday decorations.
The scene depicted the Linus character standing on stage to recite a passage from the Bible describing the Christmas story:
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Shannon's rendition of the scene was on brown paper with the quote written in permanent marker — nothing too extravagant. She put the poster up on December 5th... and was asked to remove it December 7th.
Shannon recalled the principal's words to FoxNews.com:
“She said, ‘please don’t hate me, but unfortunately you’re going to have to take your poster down.' I’m disappointed. It is a slap in the face of Christianity.”
The principal informed Shannon that her poster was in violation of the U.S. Constitution:
“She said my poster is an issue of separation of church and state. She said the poster had to come down because it might offend kids from other religions or those who do not have a religion.”
Shannon was given the option to only remove the quote — which referenced Jesus Christ — but Shannon declined:
“I just took the entire thing down. I wasn’t going to leave Linus and the Christmas tree without having the dialogue. That’s the whole point of why it was put up.”
She expressed her complete frustration with the Killeen school's “diversity” policy:
“Throughout the school there are talks about diversity. Well, you aren’t being very diverse if you are not allowing the Christians to put something up that refers to a Christian holiday."
Danny Brey, Shannon's father and pastor of the Soldiers of the Cross Cowboy Fellowship, was outraged by what his daughter told him. Brey told Fox News's Todd Starnes:
“People want us to be tolerant for everything – but they don’t tolerate Christianity. They bow down to everything else– but when it comes to Christianity…”
But this is just one of many contentious situations involving public institutions and religious freedom, including several other “Charlie Brown Christmas” incidents alone. And like Charlie Brown...
“Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem."
Many people think schools have a lot of work to do when it comes to the U.S. Constitution's implementation of religious and non-religious tolerance.