Boys and girls at an Alabama elementary school will still get to hunt for eggs – but they can’t call them ‘Easter Eggs’ because the principal banished the word for the sake of religious diversity.
“We had in the past a parent to question us about some of the things we do here at school,” said Heritage Elementary School principal Lydia Davenport. “So we’re just trying to make sure we respect and honor everybody’s differences.”
Television station WHNT reported that teachers were informed that no activities related to or centered around any religious holiday would be allowed – in the interest of religious diversity.
“Kids love the bunny and we just make sure we don’t say ‘the Easter Bunny’ so that we don’t infringe on the rights of others because people relate the Easter bunny to religion,” she told the television station. “A bunny is a bunny and a rabbit is a rabbit.”
Teachers had planned to have an Easter egg-themed quiz bowl where boys and girls would ring in with egg buzzers and search for answers hidden in Easter eggs.
“I don’t get upset about too many things, but this upsets me,” one parent wrote to the television station. “Even non-believers enjoy a good egg hunt. Kids need to enjoy being kids.”
Davenport reconsidered the ban after meeting with district leaders – but she still won’t allow teachers to use the word ‘Easter.’
“We compromised by allowing teachers to use other different kinds of shapes besides eggs in the classroom,” she told the television station.
But the good news, according to Madison City School Board member Phil Schmidt, is that students are going to be allowed to have eggs.
“The principal was trying to be extremely cautious about having anything religious in the school – probably more cautious than she needed to be,” he told Fox News. “In this world of schools, it’s probably better to be cautious than reckless. But at the same time you’ve got to use good judgment about it.”
Schmidt said Madison is a very religious community and when it comes to beliefs – they are diverse and tolerant.
At the same time, he said, it’s important to put things in perspective.
“Don’t over think it,” he said. “It’s the Easter Bunny. People have known there are multi-colored eggs that have been a symbol of Easter for a long, long, long, long time. I don’t think you want to over think it. I don’t think our parents want us to over think it.”
And besides, Schmidt pointed out – they even have an Easter Egg Roll at the White House.
“So having Easter eggs at a school doesn’t seem like it would be a huge stretch,” he said.