Tiny Tim is the beloved character from Charles Dickens’ classic 1843 tale, A Christmas Carol. The impoverished and crippled young boy is known for delivering the famous phrase, “God bless us, every one” which turns the tide for the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s an uplifting story that’s been retold in countless TV productions and stage plays. But for one fifth-grade class in Pennsylvania, this quick mention of God proved too much and now the performance won’t play at the school for the first time in 40 years.
That’s because two people complained and the Hempfield School District caved and canceled the production. Members of the community were devastated after hearing the news.
“I was surprised because it’s been going on for decades and it’s a tradition at the school that everybody looks forward to,” one local, Jane Burkhart, said. “The kids are very proud of themselves for what they do and put that on, and it’s just very sad that it’s not going to just because of one little line. Charles Dickens is a classic author, not a religious figure, and I just think one little line shouldn’t ruin it for every kid in fifth grade, and to come.”
However, the school district’s official response didn’t cite the religious objections and only stated that the play would interfere too much with class schedules. Spokeswoman Shannon Zimmerman said, “It’s not part of the written curriculum of fifth grade, but students and teachers were required to participate in it and we can’t allow that to continue.”
If anything, Zimmerman added, it was the complaints that led them to reconsider the amount of time it would take to put on the performance, and the district decided that 20 hours of class time was just too much to take the kids away from their assignments.Centerville Elementary School Principal Tom Kramer was more descriptive and addressed the “rumors” in his response posted to the school’s website:
We want to clarify that the decision to cancel the play was a building decision, based upon interactions between myself and the fifth grade teaching team. This decision was made based primarily on instructional opportunities for students. Producing and performing a play is not part of the written curriculum for fifth grade…
One rumor we’ve been addressing is that one or two families influenced this decision. That’s just not true. The instructional time issue was our primary concern. Alternative solutions were explored for offering the play differently, including the use of non-core instructional time, but it was decided by the building team to not go down this path. We also looked at having rehearsals after school hours, but, at this time, parents nor staff members have stepped forward to take advantage of this possibility.
Kramer’s statement did include a mention of the “decision [being] rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural and religious backgrounds represented by the students attending Centerville Elementary.” Which is rather curious since he insisted the decision was never based on religious objections.
But the entire situation has one local attorney rightly concerned that America’s traditions are being stepped on left and right.
“As a constitutional attorney,” Randy Wenber, attorney at the Independence Law Center, said. “I hate to see traditions taken away in my own community. What does this communicate to our kids? It says that anything religious is really not appropriate in public life. It’s something you’re supposed to keep to yourself.”
As you can see, it’s not just colleges and universities that are dealing with the New Fascists controlling education, and now your children are getting a taste of it as early as elementary school.
Now, more than ever, we need to do something to take our country back, and an Article V Convention of the States is one of the tools that can help in the fight.