Boys and girls at an Alabama elementary school will still get to hunt for eggs â but they canât call them âEaster Eggsâ because the principal banished the word for the sake of religious diversity.
âWe had in the past a parent to question us about some of the things we do here at school,â said Heritage Elementary School principal Lydia Davenport. âSo weâre just trying to make sure we respect and honor everybodyâs differences.â
Television station WHNT reported that teachers were informed that no activities related to or centered around any religious holiday would be allowed â in the interest of religious diversity.
âKids love the bunny and we just make sure we donât say âthe Easter Bunnyâ so that we donât infringe on the rights of others because people relate the Easter bunny to religion,â she told the television station. âA bunny is a bunny and a rabbit is a rabbit.â
Teachers had planned to have an Easter egg-themed quiz bowl where boys and girls would ring in with egg buzzers and search for answers hidden in Easter eggs.
âI donât get upset about too many things, but this upsets me,â one parent wrote to the television station. âEven non-believers enjoy a good egg hunt. Kids need to enjoy being kids.â
Davenport reconsidered the ban after meeting with district leaders â but she still wonât allow teachers to use the word âEaster.â
âWe compromised by allowing teachers to use other different kinds of shapes besides eggs in the classroom,â she told the television station.
But the good news, according to Madison City School Board member Phil Schmidt, is that students are going to be allowed to have eggs.
âThe principal was trying to be extremely cautious about having anything religious in the school â probably more cautious than she needed to be,â he told Fox News. âIn this world of schools, itâs probably better to be cautious than reckless. But at the same time youâve got to use good judgment about it.â
Schmidt said Madison is a very religious community and when it comes to beliefs â they are diverse and tolerant.
At the same time, he said, itâs important to put things in perspective.
âDonât over think it,â he said. âItâs the Easter Bunny. People have known there are multi-colored eggs that have been a symbol of Easter for a long, long, long, long time. I donât think you want to over think it. I donât think our parents want us to over think it.â
And besides, Schmidt pointed out â they even have an Easter Egg Roll at the White House.
âSo having Easter eggs at a school doesnât seem like it would be a huge stretch,â he said.