Local Schools Including Christmas in December Programs

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - Tis the season for Holiday concerts. In fact, many schools and daycares have started referring to them as winter concerts, perhaps to draw a line between church and state.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has more on the debate between leaving Christianity in or taking it out of public events.

Monday night we went to the Farragut High School Christmas concert. Yes, the Christmas concert, where organizers say there would be no other reason to have a concert this time of year.

"To pretend that Christmas is not a religiously based holiday is perfectly foolish," parent Ted Tsaltas said.

And there were plenty of signs of Jesus in Monday night's choral Christmas concert at Farragut High School. Director Kenton Deitch says he chose songs to celebrate the season.

"Being the Christmas season, I chose the emphasis to be on the reason for the season, and that is Christ," Deitch said. "As far as from a Christian or secular aspect, I've gotten very little resistance. There have been a couple of eyebrows raised because it's a Christmas concert instead of a Holiday concert."

But Deitch explains that may be because of the ongoing debate between secular and non-secular. Taking God out of government, schools and other public venues is a hotly debated subject.

"We were always told that if we didn't want to sing it, we didn't have to sing it," student Mallory Heinzen said.

Which protects students Constitutional rights, but most public concerts this time of year are intended to honor the Christmas holiday.

Many parents and students we spoke with say they can't imagine any other reason to have a concert this time of year, so why not call it what it is, a Christmas concert.


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  • by Brian Location: Angleton, Texas on Dec 17, 2007 at 12:59 PM
    Way to go Deitch and students from Farragut! Facts are that our nation does recognize and celebrates Christmas. If people are worried about seperation from Church and State, I guarantee there are decorations at the White House and other Government buildings. People will gipe and complain no matter what but I promise you there are still taking advantage of all the Christmas special deals at all the stores this time of the year.
  • by Lori Location: Angleton, TX on Dec 17, 2007 at 09:42 AM
    I'm proud that Mr. Deitch stood up for the belief in God that this country is based on. More people should follow in his footsteps and stand up for what they believe in. We don't need to be overruled by the minority. There are other religions and they have been given the right to worship as they wish in this country, but they don't have the right to expect someone to cater to them in public schools when only 1 or 2 students share in their beliefs.
  • by Bill Location: Lake Charles, LA on Dec 15, 2007 at 10:59 PM
    Congratulations to Kenton Deitch and the staff and faculty of Farragut High School for recognizing the reason behind the Christmas of Christ.
  • by Homer Location: Knoxville on Dec 12, 2007 at 09:22 AM
    Non-Christians need to understand that this is a Christian nation. They can go to private schools if they don't like it.
  • by Bruce Location: Orlando on Dec 11, 2007 at 04:20 PM
    Deitch is holding a government sponsored church service and brags that he ignores the resistance he's received - that speaks volumes about his intents. Ramadan is a Muslim holiday and Allah or Muhamad is the reason for that season. Did Deitch throw an equivalent religious show? I'll bet not. Deitch and crew have decided that the official gov't sponsored religion is Christianity. According to www.knoxvilletennessee.com Knoxville has over 400 churches. You're not running out of places to worship. Deitch can't stand that there is a huge gathering of impressionable minds where he shouldn't proslytize. Non-Christians are on notice that they are 'free' to sit down and shut up while the school officially sings songs that exclude them. Your complaints will be ignored. Don't like it? - file suit and be shunned and taunted by the school population. Your public school is not a level playing field where the minority can feel equal. Congratulations.

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