SALT LAKE CITY -- Last year's debate over "Holiday trees" instead of Christmas trees and Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas is officially over.
The Granite School District is reminding its principals, through a memo, that Christmas has a place in the schools.
State Sen. Chris Buttars famously argued retailers should require employees to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" this time last year. But Granite spokesman Ben Horsley says that's not the reason behind the memo.
"This is not an ongoing debate within the district," he says.
Every year, the superintendent sends out the same memo, reminding principals that there's a place for Christmas in the classroom, so long as it's not preaching. For example, if teachers address holiday traditions, there's no reason to exclude Christmas from the discussion.
"Talking about the symbols of Christmas is entirely appropriate," Horsley adds, "within the context of certain curriculum."
Teachers aren't being told they have to talk about Christmas, just that they don't have to avoid it, either. The memo goes on to say it's one of the functions of education to "cultivate tolerance, appreciation and respect for one another."
The district's money is where its mouth is -- the lobby of the district offices at 2500 South State St. include not a holiday tree, but a Christmas tree.
You can read the memo for yourself, on the blog of the superintendent, Dr. Stephen Ronnenkamp.