Bill may allow religious decorations at public schools
JEFFERSON CITY - A house bill would allow Missouri public schools to display religious symbols such as a nativity scene, Christmas tree or menorah on school property.
House Bill 2073 would also allow students and staff at Missouri public schools to say, "traditional greetings regarding the celebrations including, but not limited to: Merry Christmas; Happy Hanukkah; Happy holidays; and Happy Easter.
However, there are a few restrictions
- If the display includes a scene or a symbol it has to include one from another religion; "or at least one secular scene or symbol"
- The display cannot include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief
- The scene cannot be displayed if it violates the Establishment Clause which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
The bill would also give school districts the ability to educate its students about the history of holidays referred to as "traditional winter and spring celebrations."