House Bill backs holiday displays in schools

A bill supporting holiday displays and holiday greetings in Louisiana Public Schools was backed by the House Education Committee and may hit the house floor next week.

House Bill 876 would make it legal for public schools to put up Christmas trees, nativity sets, and other symbols "associated with tradition celebrations in winter" – as long as it includes more than one religion or includes one religion and at least one secular symbol.

"I think Louisiana is a pretty religious state," says Parent David Alan.

Alan says he does not think the bill crosses any lines.

"Go with the majority there, and say that it does not cross any lines here in Louisiana," says Alan.

The bill also says the display cannot include "a message that encourages adherence to a particular religion.

"Merry Christmas is a part of the fabric of our society," says Representative Alan Seabaugh.

Seabaugh says he only clarifies what schools already have the right to do.

"School systems are afraid that they can't have a Christmas tree or that maybe by saying Merry Christmas it will be a problem," says Seabaugh.

If the bill is passed, the law could go into effect by July.

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