The fifth-graders at Centerville Elementary School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania have been performing A Christmas Carol for decades. But this year, that tradition came to an abrupt end.
Parents told local reporters the play was canceled because two parents complained about a line in the Charles Dickens holiday classic.
The unnamed parents took offense at the words uttered by Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone,” television station WHTM reported.
“I was very surprised because it’s going on for decades, and it’s a tradition at the school that everyone looks forward to,” resident Jane Burkhart told the television station.
Like many in this deeply religious community, she was saddened by the cancellation.
“One little line shouldn’t ruin it for every kid,” Burkhart said. “Charles Dickens is a class author, not a religious author.”
Principal Tom Kramer addressed the controversy in a message posted on the elementary school’s website. You can read the entire message by clicking here.
“We understand that some parents are upset that the play was cancelled, but we have heard from families on both ends of the spectrum, including those who expressed appreciation that the play, as it had traditionally been prepared and delivered, was cancelled,” he wrote.
Kramer went on to reject reports that their decision was based on one or two families.
“That’s just not true,” he said.
He did not specifically address the parents’ allegations that the play was cancelled because of the line, “God bless us everyone.” But he did seem to hint at some sort of issue.
“Our decision is rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural and religious backgrounds represented by the students attending Centerville Elementary,” he wrote.
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SOURCE: Charisma News