An elementary school principal in Nebraska was placed on leave after telling teachers to avoid decorating their classrooms with Christmas-themed ornaments so as not to offend those who don't celebrate the holiday.
The principal at Manchester Elementary School, identified by Fox affiliate KPTM as Jennifer Sinclair, sent out a memo earlier this week with guidelines as to what is considered appropriate for classroom decorations and assignments.
Teachers were reportedly told that generic winter-themed items, such as sledding and scarves, and the "Frozen" character Olaf, were acceptable.
Decorations that included Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer, green and red colored items and even candy canes, however, were not acceptable for the elementary school.
The candy canes, according to KETV, were prohibited because Sinclair deemed them to have religious significance. "Historically, the shape is a 'J' for Jesus. The red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection," she reportedly wrote. "This would also include different colored candy canes."
The Elkhorn School District told Fox News in a statement that "the memo does not reflect the policy of Elkhorn Public Schools regarding holiday symbols in the school."
The district's policy states that "Christmas trees, Santa Claus and Easter eggs and bunnies are considered to be secular, seasonal symbols and may be displayed as teaching aids provided they do not disrupt the instructional program for students."
Sinclair was placed on administrative leave as of Thursday morning.
- Don Stuck