Editor’s word: It’s winter break, not Christmas break

The town of Norwood voted April 8 to change the phrase of “winter break” back to “Christmas break” in its public schools. Norwood’s school committee voted to change the phrase from Christmas break to winter break back in 2011. More than 76 percent of the town’s population came out to the polls and voted 3-to-1 in favor of the switch back in a non-binding referendum, according to The Boston Globe.

The School Committee must now choose to “either change it back and reflect the 3-to-1 decision of the people of the town, or they can ignore it, and anger a lot of people in this town,” as Selectwoman Helen Abdallah Donohue told the Globe.

This action not only seems unnecessary but it seems like a move backwards in accepting other people’s religious views. More than 2,300 people came out to vote on bringing back the phrase that excludes any public school student that is not Christian.

It is understandable that some members of the Norwood community would be upset by the 2011 change to the phrase ‘winter break.’ What is not understandable is going through all this effort just to change it back and affiliate a school break with religion once more.

The reason this came to a town vote came from more than 700 residents signing a petition, according to Donohue’s comments to the Globe. It is upsetting that so many people took time out of their day to sign this document.

Numbers do not change the fact that following through with this phrase change ignores members of the student population. If Suffolk University had 700 students sign a document to change winter break to Christmas break, it would not make it any more alright for the administration to make the change.

Changing the phrase back to Christmas break will exclude students of other religions. Regardless of the town’s vote, it seems wrong to call winter break Christmas break in public schools when those schools have students from all sorts of religious backgrounds. Even if the phrase does not bother those students of other religions, it would not make the phrase any less wrong to say.

There are too many other religious holidays happening around the same time as Christmas for a school vacation to be named after just one of them. It also makes no sense to make non-Christian students feel excluded like that. It is time to move on and leave that phrase in the past, Norwood.