Marshfield Residents: ‘Restore Christmas’ [Update]

The School Committee will talk about possibly reversing its decision to call Christmas vacation a "Holiday Break."

Update:

The Marshfield School Committee voted 3-2 in favor of keeping the term “Holiday break” on the district’s calendar, rather than switching back to “Christmas vacation,” which some residents petitioned for.

Earlier:

Thanksgiving is Thursday, but all Marshfield resident Elaine Taylor can think about is the meaning of the Christmas holiday.

On Monday night, Taylor and a horde of supporters will meet with Marshfield’s School Committee members to demand that the public school system put the term “Christmas vacation” back on the school’s calendar.

In September, after receiving complaints via email, board members stripped the term from the district calendar that goes out to students, teachers, and parents, and replaced it with the words “Holiday break” instead, citing different “customs and cultures” and to respect the diversity of residents’ religious backgrounds.

Since that vote, however, Taylor and thousands of others have made it their mission to reverse the decision. In early November, Taylor collected the necessary number of signatures to get the South Shore town’s School Committee to host a follow-up meeting on the subject, which will be held Monday night, in an effort to have the term “Christmas” restored on the calendar.

“We are going forward with the meeting tonight, along with people who have been writing in and stating their opinions. I’m expecting a lot of people to come—the churches have supported us, there are people from all over the place. They just want to help, they want to see this happen,” said Taylor, who amassed more than 4,200 signatures from people who are backing her crusade.

Taylor said three of the school committee members who voted in favor of the term “Holiday” over “Christmas” have “hardened their hearts” to a tradition that shouldn’t be shied away from. She feels as though the town, “founded on Christianity,” should embrace its heritage, and not feel as though celebrating the word “Christmas” excludes people of different faiths.

“If you take the foundation away from a building, the building is gone. So you don’t take away the foundation of a town, either. I don’t care about other towns and what they do, they have their own history. We have to follow our tradition,” she said. “We are going to try and get them to change it back, and tell them what we want. They should be the servants to the people they were elected by, and hopefully they will make the change.”

According to an agenda on the school’s website, the special meeting will be held in the high school auditorium at 8 p.m.

Taylor said while she has been adamant about the committee reverting back to how things were prior to September’s vote, she isn’t trying to offend or hurt anybody in the process. “I don’t mean to hurt anybody, but I don’t want to be hurt either. I don’t want to have what I truly believe to be wiped off,” she said. “Holiday break has no value—what are you celebrating? It’s like you’re celebrating nothing.”