Happy Easter, everyone! (But don’t say that too loudly. You might offend someone.)
Todd Starnes reported this week that Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama appears to have a problem with the “Easter” in “Easter eggs” and “Easter bunny”:
Boys and girls at an Alabama elementary school will still get to hunt for eggs – but they can’t call them ‘Easter Eggs’ have the principal banished the word for the sake of religious diversity.
“We had in the past a parent to question us about some of the things we do here at school,” said Heritage Elementary School principal Lydia Davenport. “So we’re just trying to make sure we respect and honor everybody’s differences.”
Television station WHNT reported that teachers were informed that no activities related to or centered around any religious holiday would be allowed – in the interest of religious diversity.
“Kids love the bunny and we just make sure we don’t say ‘the Easter Bunny’ so that we don’t infringe on the rights of others because people relate the Easter bunny to religion,” she told the television station. “ A bunny is a bunny and a rabbit is a rabbit.”
Every time a story like this breaks, my email inbox floods with questions like, “You’re a former teacher. Is this really all that common?”
Yes, this really happens all the time. I’ve seen it in all kinds of schools I’ve worked in. Yes, the PC police are out in force in schools every holiday season. Yes, administrators make these kinds of decisions repeatedly in the interest of not offending this or that student (or more accurately, his or her parent(s)). It’s absurd, but it’s real. Hypersensitivity around everything from Halloween costumes to holiday greetings to the wording of celebratory events is routine. And it’s getting more common, not less.
I hate to break it to Heritage Elementary School, but it’s an Easter bunny. Much like a Christmas tree. And if calling something what it is offends a child, then maybe we should be teaching children to be a little less easily offended.
Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila