‘Merry Christ­mas Bill’ for­warded

GOP state law­maker says he is try­ing to pro­tect right to ob­serve hol­i­days in school.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - Bytim Ea­ton teaton@states­man.com Rep. Dwayne Bo­hac, RHous­ton, says schools are ‘fear­ful of lit­i­ga­tion.’ Schools B

A Repub­li­can state rep­re­sen­ta­tive has filed a pro­posal to make sure stu­dents and teach­ers in Texas can cel­e­brate the hol­i­days at school with­out fear of retri­bu­tion.

With the mea­sure he dubbed his “Merry Christ­mas Bill,” Rep. Dwayne Bo­hac, R-Hous­ton, said he is try­ing to clar­ify the right of pub­lic school stu­dents and staff mem­bers to use greet­ings such as “Merry Christ­mas,” “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Hol­i­days” on school grounds. He also noted that dis­plays such as meno­rahs, Christ­mas trees and Na­tiv­ity scenes should be al­lowed at schools.

Bo­hac didn’t re­spond to an in­ter­view re­quest made through his staff, but in a news re­lease, he said the bill was born out of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence he had when he picked up his son from school last year.

Af­ter Bo­hac’s son, a first- grader, men­tioned that he and his class dec­o­rated a “hol­i­day tree,” Bo­hac asked school of­fi­cials why they didn’t just say “Christ­mas tree.”

“It be­came ap­par­ent that the school was fear­ful of lit­i­ga­tion,” Bo­hac re­called. “It was that moment that in­spired me to file leg­is­la­tion that would pro­vide stu­dents, par­ents, teach­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors a safe har­bor for openly cele-

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