A high school teacher in Maine says the school forced her to remove a pink Hello Kitty-themed Christmas tree from her classroom which she has put up for the past 30 years.
Catherine Gordon teaches math at Bangor High School. She was emailed by the school principal on Dec. 18 with an order to remove the tree from her classroom, according to Fox News. She said the email made her cry when she received it.
Gordon was informed that the display of the Christmas tree in her classroom constituted the endorsement of one religion over another. Although it is a Christmas tree, Gordon pointed out in a Facebook post that the tree does not contain any kind of iconography.
“The tree had no religious symbols on it whatsoever. No crosses or angels, just pink Hello Kitties,” she wrote.
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"I feel that this is definitely a turning point in our society - when everything offends everyone all the time - it just sucks the joy out of everything," she added.
The superintendent of the school issued a statement after Gordon's Facebook post went viral.
“In alignment with national and state standards, the Bangor School Department educates students about culture, traditions, and holidays through curriculum ties in English language arts, music, art, social studies and world languages,” the statement read. "Our focus is educating students to become global citizens with the necessary 21st century skills for college and career readiness for their future success."
But Gordon has many people supporting her, including Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine, Boston.com reports. Poliquin urged school officials to take a second look at their decision.
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“Our local school teachers and parents should have the ultimate say in how to run their classrooms so long as it does not pose any danger to students or the community,” he said in a statement. “I find the School Department’s decision baseless and completely counter to all that our Nation stands for.”