^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

Remember the War on Christmas in Plano? The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Does.

Speaking of old local cases involving schoolchildren sitting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ...

On Tuesday, the court handed down an opinion in that years-old case involving a Plano Independent School District third-grader and other PISD-off kiddies told by district officials that, no, they couldn't hand out "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" pencils amongst other religious-tinged whatnots ("candy canes with cards describing their Christian origin, tickets to a church's religious musical programs, and tickets to a dramatic Christian play") during a "Winter Party" in 2003. Surely you recall this showdown: Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute calls it "an ongoing case that has the potential of cementing many of the religious freedoms for our children that have taken decades to restore"; John Cornyn filed a brief on behalf of the families; and after getting his facts wrong ("In Plano, Texas, a school told students they couldn't wear red and green because they are Christmas colors"), Bill O'Reilly declared the district's policy "flat-out facism." Right -- that was the beginning of the War on Christmas.

Anyway. The families were upset because, in 2003, the district only prohibited students from passing out unsafe or "obscene, vulgar, or otherwise age-inappropriate" material. In 2005, after the suit was filed, the district adopted a new policy concerning the distribution of materials: 30 minutes before and after school; during any of the three annual parties; during recess; and, yes, during school hours, "but only passively at designated tables," as the court put it. The district said, Look, passing out anything during school hours is disruptive, K? To which the court responded this week by declaring the 2005 policy good and constitutional.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.