1st graders’ “Valentine’s Day” cards censored

How bad are things getting? Had you told me a few years ago that schools would censor 1st graders’ “Valentine’s Day” cards for religious content, I would have laughed at you.

From The Morning Call:

Suit: Censoring history of St. Valentine violated first-grader’s free speech rights
Nazareth elementary school banned cards explaining religious meaning of holiday.

Donald and Ellen Abramo’s children wanted to share the religious meaning of Valentine’s Day with their classmates in the Nazareth Area School District this year.

That gesture landed the Upper Nazareth Township couple in a fight with school officials over a district policy banning religious materials in class, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Allentown.

The Abramos allege staff at Shafer Elementary School in Nazareth violated their son’s First Amendment rights when they removed messages explaining the religious history of Valentine’s Day from cards the first-grader planned to distribute to his friends.

“St. Valentine was imprisoned and martyred for presiding over marriages and for spreading the news of God’s love. In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, I want you to know that God loves YOU!!!” said the notes, which also included a short Bible verse.

The Feb. 14 celebration of Valentine’s Day began as a commemoration of the third-century Roman saint, although the Catholic Church has officially removed the holiday from its calendar.

According to the suit, the Abramos’ three other school-aged children were permitted to hand out the notes with Valentines to their classmates, but only because teachers didn’t notice their religious nature, school officials said.

The suit says Ellen Abramo helped her children create the notes to fill an empty slot in their store-bought cards — left when they removed a piece of candy to comply with a separate policy banning sweets.

[…]

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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11 Responses to 1st graders’ “Valentine’s Day” cards censored

  1. ckdexterhaven says:

    The worst part of this story is that the school bans candy w/the cards. They can’t let the kids attach a lollipop w/the card? I bet this school banned recess, too. What drudgery American school has become.

    If I were in school, I would give a card like Ralph Wiggum gave to Lisa Simpson. “I choo choose you.” With candy attached.

  2. govmatt says:

    And it happened in… Nazareth.

  3. That’s just what we need: more sentimentalism and less religiosity in St. Valentine’s Day.

  4. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    Removing St. Valentine from the calendar was a big mistake. We’ve ceded this important holiday to the seculars.

  5. Sonshine135 says:

    Ah yes, more love, inclusiveness, and tolerance for religious expression and teaching from the secular left. There is simply a North Korea-like quality to schooling these days. How soon before we are imprisoning people for religious expression?

  6. MariaKap says:

    While they’re at it, they should censor the name of their town. After all, Nazareth wasn’t a big name until YOU KNOW WHO lived there! I’m sure the town founders named the community in His honor. But they probably wouldn’t teach that in school.

  7. MouseTemplar says:

    Livid here. My 7 yr old routinely gets “Valentine’s Day” cards telling him how “hot” he is and other age inappropriate messages purchased by clueless parents whose older children start dating at age 12. This is where the oversight should be coming in. A simple “Jesus Loves You” is at least clean cut. I’d rather they simply removed this day and Halloween from the school calendar.

  8. LarryW2LJ says:

    They probably can’t even teach the kids how the town picked its name!

  9. Toan says:

    Back in the day, the people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus off a cliff, so I suppose this town’s name is rather appropriate!

  10. BLB Oregon says:

    Valentine’s Day in schools, with no candy and no Saint Valentine, either?

    Oh, just skip it. What is the point?

  11. PA mom says:

    This is my area.
    It is currently being hotly debated. It is astonishing to me just how many people think that it is wrong for a person to send something like this into school.
    Valentines day without St Valentine, Easter and Christmas without Jesus… Honestly, I am starting to think the only thing to do is call out these people and disallow all “holidays”. There is something so dishonest about how they celebrate these days, if it is so clear that Christians can have no say then cancel them. Teach course study work instead, goodness knows most of these students could use it.