Does This Offend You?
Compare this (before):
To this (after):
Why you ask?
In Bellevue, WA apparently neither "tree" is acceptable. Not acceptable for Christmas, the holidays, or even for giving:
BELLEVUE - School kids at Medina Elementary wanted to help those less fortunate.
The kids and their parents decided on a "Giving Tree." It would have mittens as decorations and the mittens would carry the age and sex of the person getting the present and what they would really like this holiday season.
But the efforts ran afoul of some sensibilities. A parent complained that the tree was a Christian symbol. The principal agreed to remove the tree, but continue the giving effort.
The first image is the original tree. The second, of a revised offering eliminating the incriminating star by covering it with a bow, was also not appropriate to the complaining parent. This was the result:
"Well, I was very gently reminded that the tree represents some part of Christianity," Principal Betsy Hill told KOMO 4 News.
The tree, itself, was a nondescript coil of silver with a star on top. The school covered the star with a bow. But that wasn't enough for the critic.
And the principal had a thought. "We can easily carry on our giving efforts whether we put the mittens on a sled, a snowman, a tree, or a counter," she said. "And so our mittens are now on the counter."
A "giving" counter?!?!? Watch the video.
Even a "nondescript coil of silver," which vaguely resembles a Christmas tree in any case, is too "Christian" for this person--who apparently was too cowardly or busy to offer a response in this story. Rather than fighting for the "tree," the spineless administrator caves in to the pressure of one parent's rather misguided "sensibilities":
Hill insists she didn't buckle. She says the most important thing is keeping alive the giving spirit and relocating the mittens has allowed that to happen.Ahh, yes. The winter season. Secure in the knowledge that all references to Christianity have been expunged from this school's well-intentioned generosity, this "person" can now move on to the next potentially offending Christian symbol.
Some, like Judy Petrovich, don't understand why the giving tree is history. "A giving counter! That's ridiculous," she said.
Kim Raskin, who is Jewish, says the tree didn't offend her. "I am fully in support of having the Giving Tree."
The school says wherever the mittens are, it's the giving that's important. That's the spirit of... well... the winter season.