Education

Is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Religious?

December 15, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A kindergarten Christmas show at the Murrayville Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C., generated an unlikely church-state controversy when a mother at the school complained about its inclusion of the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The parent objected to the song’s “religious overtones,” reportedly complaining in particular about its use of the word “Christmas.” As a result the song was temporarily pulled from the program line-up.

After many other parents complained about the decision, however, school officials give the matter further study. “School board members, administrators and attorneys listened closely to the song’s lyrics and decided the song was secular,” according to local news station WRAL.

“Rudolph is a secular song,” proclaimed assistant school superintendent Rick Holliday. “It was about a flying reindeer, not a religious symbol.”

School officials decided to return the song to the kindergarteners’ holiday show, a decision that sat well with many parents.

“I think it’s great that they let the kids sing because all the kids love that song,” said Anne Vanslyke, a parent of a student.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Reading & Literacy K-12 Essentials Forum Writing and the Science of Reading
Join us for this free event as we highlight and discuss the intersection of reading and writing with Education Week reporters and expert guests.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 1, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP