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PURPOSE OF SCHOOLS IS TO TEACH

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I was dismayed to hear about the debate over what was appropriate to sing in our schools during the Christmas season. It's a shame that Nativity scenes, programs and religious carols are banned and only Santa is acceptable.

A parent claimed that "children are being held hostage in their classrooms . . . forced to sing songs that don't agree with their philosophy." He misses the whole idea of what school is for. It is to teach, even those topics that don't agree with each child. If a child loves English yet dislikes math, it doesn't mean he can skip arithmetic.When I was in my high school choir, I learned carols from various religions, and though I'm Christian, I didn't feel insulted or pressed to convert to Judaism. Instead, I enjoyed learning about others' beliefs and cultures.

Religion isn't "bad"; all religions that I've studied have taught people to be good, to better themselves and to love others. Why would any parent object to that? It is definitely wrong to take Christ out of Christmas, or Buddha, Elohim, Allah or anyone else for that matter. Let your children enjoy the holiday and learn at the same time.

Judy Ericksen

Salt Lake City