One New York elementary school principal earned herself some negative press recently after announcing several popular cultural celebrations would be scrapped from the calendar.
The new head Brooklyn’s PS 169, Eujin Jaela Kim, began by insisting Thanksgiving be referred to only as a Harvest festival. Her politically correct policies became more unpopular from there, as she nixed any reference to Christmas – including some that seemed quite a stretch – and the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mimi Ferrer, the school’s Parent Teacher Association president, began to speak out against Kim’s instruction, relying on the media to amplify her voice. She made it clear how far school administrators were willing to go to scrub any potential religious inference from school property.
“We definitely can’t say Christmas,” Ferrer lamented, “nothing with Christmas on it, nothing with Santa, no angels. We can’t even have a star because it can represent a religious system – like the Star of David.”
In addition to upsetting parents and students, new policies were battered with backlash from the Department of Education (DOE), which among other things, disagreed with the school’s assertion that Santa is a “religious figure.” Furthermore, a DOE source confirmed that teachers have the freedom to lead their classes in the pledge.
Previous acting principal at PS169, Joseph Iorio, even weighed in on the controversy, recalling that he chose students each week to recite the patriotic pledge — a practice that halted when Kim came on board.
After the New York Post and other prominent news outlets shared the concerns of Ferrer and others, however, Kim’s bosses began to take notice. As a result, the Post published a follow-up article this week chronicling a decisive turn of events at the school.
On Monday morning, reports indicate, district superintendent Anita Skop showed up shortly after the school day began to select two fifth-graders to lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance. Santa was reintroduced, too, in a move that Ferrer enthusiastically endorsed.
“I’m ecstatic that Santa can come back,” she said. “Hopefully, he can make a visit to the kids in our school for our winter celebration on Thursday.”
Kim has since issued an apology for any “confusion” her PC policies might have caused.