It wasn't that long ago that Frisco's embrace of Christ's birth was so suffocatingly full-bodied that the Washington Post's Hank Stuever embedded himself there for three holiday seasons for Tinsel, his book exploring the gaudy excess of the modern American Christmas celebration.
How quickly things change. This year, just five years after Stuever's departure from Frisco, a Frisco ISD PTA is trying to kill Christmas. We don't know which PTA. Texas Values, which is trumpeting the news, doesn't say, and a Frisco ISD spokeswoman has not yet responded to our email. Texas Values is very clear, however, on the killing-Christmas part.
"We haven't even reached Thanksgiving Day yet and already the War on Christmas has reared its ugly head in Texas," the nonprofit writes. As proof, they cite the PTA email mentioned above, which outlines certain "Winter Party Rules." Among them: "No reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday" and "no red/green or Christmas trees."
In previous years, Texas Values' cries of religious discrimination might be embraced by a vocal but small cadre of Christian conservatives but would otherwise be shrugged off as unworthy of serious concern, or else a necessary concession to cultural diversity.
This year, however, they and their allies come armed with the Merry Christmas Bill, which bars school districts from prohibiting or discouraging the open celebration of Christmas and other winter holidays. So, if a student wants to say "Merry Christmas" in class or if a parent wants bring a festively decorated evergreen, the school district must allow it. Menorahs are OK too.
But the mere existence of a law doesn't mean that it will be followed, which is where State Representative Pat Fallon comes in. He sent Frisco Superintendent Jeremy Lyon a letter chiding the district for the "Winter Party Rules."
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"Please note that such restrictions are unnecessary, inappropriate, and quite frankly draconian in nature," Fallon writes. "Texas law clearly permits Christmas-themed celebrations, events and displays. If there is any way that I can assist you in making the staff, students, and parents of the district aware of this new law, please don't hesitate to contact me."
That did the trick. "Thankfully, this incident and mistake was corrected, without legal action against the school," Texas Values reports.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's Christmas 1, Godless PTA Moms 0.