A principal who “banned” candy canes from the classroom last month because she (wrongly) said they were promoting Christianity has resigned in the wake of national backlash. It’s a sad ending to what I felt was nothing more than an ignorant move by someone whose heart was always in the right place.
Jennifer Sinclair was the principal of Manchester Elementary School in Elkhorn, Nebraska. In December, she sent a memo to her staff telling teachers not to do “any Christmas or holiday-specific themed activities with students.” That included “Singing Christmas Carols” and distributing candy canes (because “the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus”). The candy cane thing isn’t true.
Her intention was to preserve church/state separation, but it’s not like any church/state group would’ve advised her to say any of that. It’s fine to promote cultural Christmas festivities. It only crosses the line when teachers or administrators are directly promoting Christian mythology. But Christian Right groups had a collective aneurysm over her actions and Sinclair was soon placed on administrative leave.
Now she’s resigning from her position. She’s staying with the district but moving to a different (less public) role.
“Due to the level of attention that Dr. Sinclair’s memo received, Dr. Sinclair and the District stand united that it is in the best interest of Manchester Elementary that she not resume the Principal position,” Dr. Bary Habrock, superintendent of the Elkhorn Public Schools, wrote in the email sent to parents and staff.
Habrock said Sinclair stepped down as principal with a “heavy heart and sadness.” She will move into a curriculum position with the district for the rest of the school year.
Liberty Counsel, who led the charge with the sharpest pitchforks, said in a statement they were “not asking for the principal to be removed” without acknowledging that their base goes bananas over shit like this, and they’re ultimately responsible for ruining the career of an educated woman who made a poor decision. They don’t give a damn. It’s not like they ever called for her to retain her old position.
Forgiveness is for Jesus. They’re all about revenge.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)