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Concord changes Christmas Spectacular to include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa themes
In a response to a lawsuit that alleges Concord High School’s annual Christmas Spectacular illegally endorses religion, the school adds Hanukkah, Kwanzaa themes and drops Bible readings.The 2015 Christmas Spectacular at Concord High School will not include any Bible readings and will also cover the history of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. But it will still include a live Nativity scene, and an attorney for Concord Community Schools says that is perfectly legal. The annual Christmas Spectacular is at the center of a lawsuit alleging that the performance, a longstanding tradition at the school that in the past has included a live Nativity scene with a narrator reading a scriptural history of the birth of Jesus, illegally endorses Christianity. But the school district’s attorney, Thomas Wheeler, argued that because the plans for the 2015 Christmas Spectacular had not yet been finalized, the lawsuit filed a month ago by an anonymous family was premature... The complaint also pointed out that no religion other than Christianity was represented in the 2014 performance. Concord’s response does not necessarily deny that was not the case in 2014, but it also argues a live Nativity scene on school grounds is not necessarily unconstitutional — rather, it depends on the context. And in 2015, the context surrounding the live Nativity scene will not make it unconstitutional, the response asserts. Scott Spradling, Concord’s director of music, provided a draft of the planned 2015 performance and added: “The 2015 ’Spirit of the Season’ portion of the Christmas Spectacular recognizes the three major holidays in December, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas, with a brief historical perspective through narration by a student and music and symbols from each tradition.”
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