Todd Starnes of Fox News Lies Again: A Texas School Did Not Ban Christmas Trees and the Colors Red & Green

I think this is the third fake story “reported” by Fox News’ Todd Starnes in the past two weeks. But I could be wrong since I’ve only read three of his stories in the past two weeks.

His latest version of “fair and balanced” spin takes us to Frisco, Texas, where Starnes writes that an elementary school has “banned Christmas trees and the colors red & green from an upcoming ‘winter’ party”:

Boys and girls who attend the Nichols Elementary School “Winter Party” will not be able to make any reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday. Christmas trees are also banned — along with the colors red and green.

… after a meeting between the principal and the PTA, the school decided to keep the draconian rules in place.

“She [the principal] said they didn’t want to offend any families and since each family donates money they feel this is the best policy,” read an email sent to [state Rep. Pat Fallon].

Fallon is the politician who authored the unnecessary bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry over the summer that allows students to say things like “Merry Christmas” without punishment. (If you’re thinking to yourself, why would anyone ever be punished for that?, you would be correct.)

So is Starnes’ story true?

Of course not.

The Frisco Independent School District issued a statement on Thursday completely contradicting Starnes’ lies:

An unfortunate misunderstanding regarding an email that was sent by a room mom has unfairly portrayed a school and the Frisco ISD as having violated the “Merry Christmas Law.” This is simply incorrect.

The email being referenced was not an official PTA email nor was the school aware of it being sent. The email that was sent by the room mom was sent two weeks before the party planning meeting had even been held. At the party planning meeting held on November 19, prior to any knowledge of the email, the school leaders went over the new law as part of the meeting. Please understand, there has never been a ban on what is worn, what is said, or what is brought to the party…

When the email was forwarded to Mr. Fallon stating no red or green or Christmas trees and no reference to Christmas or another religious holiday, he sent a letter to our Superintendent regarding the law. Our Superintendent called him and assured him these were not our rules. We are still unsure of why the campus and District’s position was misunderstood and why there is the feeling that there is some sort of ban of items or greetings regarding the winter holiday parties at that school.

I can explain the misunderstanding: You see, Starnes is desperate to promote the fake “War on Christmas” and since he can’t find actual stories of people discriminating against Christians, he just makes shit up. It’s Fox News, not the New Yorker.

While we’re on the subject of willful ignorance, Sarah Palin was all too eager to promote the story on Facebook and Twitter.

Say it with me now: There’s no “War on Christmas.” Not even in Texas. There are only liars who love to pretend they’re victims and the gullible masses who believe everything they’re told.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.


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