Nebraska principal banned Christmas items, candy canes and Santa in classrooms

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    OMAHA, Neb. (KPTM) An elementary school principal was placed on leave after a memo to staff banning Christmas-related things, including candy canes.

    This happened in Omaha, Nebraska and the principal, identified as Jennifer Sinclair, has been placed on leave from Manchester Elementary School.

    The principal apparently sent a memo earlier this week, telling teachers that certain Christmas-themed things were not appropriate.

    "The holiday season is here and we are all reminded to be sensitive to various religions, cultures and beliefs," reads a portion of the memo that had been sent in 2017. "All students need to feel included and accepted at school every day. Our job, as public school educators, is to keep activities focused on clear instructional purposes while neither promoting nor inhibiting the free exercise of religion and speech."

    The memo then went into new, more detailed information about what was allowed for 2018.

    It listed acceptable things to show as sledding, scarves, yetis and even Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen. It also outlined things that were not acceptable: Santa, Christmas trees, candy canes, reindeer and more.

    "I feel uncomfortable that I have to get this specific, but for everyone's comfort, I will," said the principal in the memo.

    School District officials acknowledge the principal went too far with the note.

    In a statement they say, "the memo does not reflect the policy of Elkhorn Public Schools regarding holiday symbols in the school."

    "The district has since clarified expectations and provided further direction to staff in alignment with district policy."

    They say the issue was limited to Manchester Elementary and did not come up at other schools in the district.

    Editors Note: WZTV contributed to this report.

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