Civil Liberties

School Considered Canceling Nutcracker Trip To Protect Kids from Christmas Tree Exposure


The Nutcracker
Public Domain

It's a Christmas miracle! An elementary school in a Boston suburb that was going to cancel its annual trip to see The Nutcracker has decided allowing kids to see a Christmas tree on stage will not destroy the non-Christians in the audience. According to

The trip to see the famous ballet has been a tradition at the school for years, but apparently some felt the trip was improper because there is a Christmas tree on the stage.

The issue came to a head at a [Butler Elementary School] PTA meeting Tuesday night. A source said some people were told they were being discriminatory if they supported their kids going to "The Nutcracker."

The controversy was so white-hot, the PTA apparently worked in secret to cancel the field trip:

Some parents of the second graders, who didn't want to appear on camera, told 7News that they're also upset because PTA leaders secretly cancelled the field trip without telling anyone, but word spread. 

PTA Co-President Barbara Bulfoni said, "In the past years there were parents complaints as 'The Nutcracker' has a religious content.

You know what? The Nutcracker does indeed have religious content. Everyone in the ballet is celebrating Christmas, a Christian holiday commemorating Christ. Same thing happens in A Christmas Carol, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, Black Christmas (a slasher movie) and—heck—Handel's Messiah.


Are these a terrible influence, one and all? How about all those Renaissance paintings of Mary and Jesus? Should the PTA ban trips to the art museum?

Kids can be exposed to ideas and cultures different from their own and not immediately feel offended. In fact, I'm betting Christian kids could probably survive seeing Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights without insisting afterward that mom burn the tree and leave Santa a bowl of liver and onions.

The Nutcracker is a ballet, not fundamentalist propaganda. I'm glad the Butler School PTA figured that out.

NEXT: SNL Mocks Obama's Executive Orders in Hilarious Schoolhouse Rock Spoof

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I suspect the religious issue was more a pretense so that some poor bastard on the PTA wouldn't have to chaperone 30 2nd graders to a 2 hour ballet.

  2. The tree itself is, IIRC, essentially a pagan tradition. Sheesh!

    1. True. But some people cannot contain their personal bigotry. If you want a pluralistic society, you cannot hate others who think differently.

    2. Yeah, but what about offending non-pagans?

  3. it's nutcrackers all the way down.

  4. The Nutcracker

    You know who else cracked nuts?

    1. Lorena Bobbitt?

    2. Man Getting Hit By Football?

      1. No one ever seems to understand I'm referencing Idiocracy when bring up Ow! My Balls!

    3. Adrian Peterson?

      1. Please, tell me was it a tree branch or a switch? Talk about "spin."

  5. some felt the trip was improper because there is a Christmas tree on the stage.

    Pine trees are racist.

    1. Pine trees are phallic symbols subconsciously re-enforcing the dominance of the patriarchy.

  6. The focus of The Nutcracker would be on the dance and music in any case. It's a very worthwhile work of art. The setting of Christmas is a rather silly concern from parents in my opinion.

  7. The christmas tree is what got these people upset?

    What about the counter-insurgency warfare against a dehumanized enemy? The obesity-inducing Land of Sweets? The whole sequence of dances othering foreigners and their crazy customs and costumes? The whole Disney princess meets her Prince plot? The fact that ballerinas are slim and pretty, and being gazed at, by.... males?

    Progs are getting lazy, I guess

    1. It galls me to say this, but not every stupid person is a progressive.

      1. To be clear, I wasn't personally complaining about these aspects of The Nutcracker. It makes the damn show, a show.

        I was remarking that, of all the things to complain about in The Nutcracker from a certain socio-poltical perspective that shall not be named, the fucking Xmas tree is low-hanging fruit.

        I.e. "Prog's are getting lazy."

      2. It's true that not every stupid person is a progressive, but every progressive is a stupid person.

    2. Dances othering foreigners? What about othering paraplegics?

    3. One step at a time, comrade.

  8. Should the PTA ban trips to the art museum?

    I'm sure many loser parents desperately want this. Replace it with a trip to the Museum of Tolerance.

    I'm glad the Butler School PTA figured that out.

    No. They're a group of fucktards who crapped their pants when they were called on their bullshit. Nothing noble about it.

    1. "Replace it with a trip to the Museum of Tolerance"

      ^^^yes - because as we all know, Tolerance no longer exists. Those that preach tolerance are the worst. They want tolerance for their views but will not tolerate any differing views.

  9. Can anybody explain to me what a christmas tree has to do with Jesus? I feel as if there is some context I might be missing. Did they make his cross out of pine? Were the thorns in his crown actually pine needles? Did they use Pine-Sol to clean up the blood after he was dead?

    1. It's a German thing that developed in the 16th century and probably relates to various pre-Christian pagan rituals involving evergreen trees and wreaths as symbols of life and longevity.

      In any case, it didn't become a popular, widespread thing until the latter half of the 19th century when large numbers of Germans began moving to the US.

      1. And Prince Albert made it a thing in Britain.

        1. That's why Chrismas tree stands in England look like tobacco cans.

          1. Well, you better let him out!

  10. Well, as long those impressionable young minds aren't subverted by references to Saturnalia everything will be fine.

  11. Just remember that, no matter what they do, there ain't no such thing as a war on Christmas.

  12. How dare they expose these fine young children to Russian music and dance!

    1. Yeah ?. GAY Russian music even!

  13. I don't mind seeing the nutcracker, but I do have to admit it sort of ticked me off as a kid that the public school, paid for with my family's tax dollars, had lots of Christian content---but if I went to a school with some Jewish content instead, that school got zero tax dollars and so we'd have to pay a lot. I'm not saying that public schools shouldn't be allowed to have any Christian stuff in them (singing carols, decorations for holidays, etc) but it really doesn't seem fair that I have to pay for theirs and they don't have to pay for mine.

    1. The fundamentalist Christians aren't happy about having their children subjected to all that atheist evolution claptrap either.

      Public schools should be for the handicapped and the indigent.

      P.S. As a taxpayer without kids, can't say I'm happy about having to pay for anybody else's kids to learn about anything. Please take responsibility for educating your own children--be they atheist, fundamentalist, or neo-scientology zoom retard--and leave me the hell out of it.

      1. I asked a friend who grew up (through high school) in post-revolutionary Iran whether they taught evolution in school there. "Yes of course they taught evolution there. Those mullahs may be crazy but they're not stupid."

        The US needs to be able to distinguish teaching religion from teaching stupid.

        1. Yeah, funny thing about the First Amendment is? it protects stupid religious beliefs, too.

          No really.

          And that's not the only thing like that!

          Turns out the First Amendment protects free speech--even if what you're saying is stupid.

          Amazing, isn't it?

          So, for instance, if you were to go around comparing the First Amendment religious freedom as if it were inferior to a country like Iran--where the right to freedom from establishment is absolute zero and the right to free exercise outside of the government's official religion is at best tentative?

          Well that would be perfectly free speech under the First Amendment--even if it is unbelievably stupid.

          But you have a right to say that.

          Fundie parents have a right to freedom of religion, too.

  14. How about all those Renaissance paintings of Mary and Jesus?

    How about all those New Americans named Maria and Jes?s?

    This stuff is just incredible.

  15. Maybe we can mandate that the trees be called 'Winter Trees' instead. Will that placate the pants wetters?

  16. Let's be very, very frank here. Looking at the demographics of the student body disaggregated by both race/ethnicity (20 percent "Asian", which includes "South Asia", aka the Indian Subcontinent"), plus the existence of a particular type of "meeting-house" located at 449 Common Street, one can surmise that this controversy didn't originate from Mr. and Mrs. Weinberg, nor from Mr. and Mrs. Li, nor from Mr. Smith, the well known 'Humanist' in town, but rather from Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. Abdul-Rahman.

    1. But, we have to be more tolerant to the Muslims because they are so tolerant of others in their countries. I mean, sometimes when they are feeling especially nice, they don't even cut peoples heads off or blow up shit.

      1. "But, we have to be more tolerant to the Muslims because..."

        I don't think you have to be tolerant.

        But the government does. I mean, they have to be tolerant of people's religion.

        I'm not convinced that Muslims are a negative for society, but even if they were, people's rights don't exist for the benefit of society.

        It may work out that respecting people's rights is generally for everyone's good--but that's kinda icing on the cake.

        Neither I nor my rights exist for society's benefit. I'm livin' life for me. My rights don't exist for the benefit of other people; other people's rights don't exist for my benefit either. ...not even if they're Muslim.

        People have a right to be Muslim even if it's not to your benefit, just like they have a right to open a competing business right next to yours. Maybe they'll put your out of business. So what? That's their right.

    2. The solution is simple...take them to Scheheradze later in the year.

      PS--this year's Battle of the Nutcrackers is going to be early am :-(.

    3. One can surmise, but that's not the same as evidence. But you are probably right.

      Also, you left out Hindus, but they are generally tolerant of things like this.

  17. Dude seems to know hts gon in dude.

  18. What the fuck man... why can't they also take them to a Hanukkah play starring Billy Crystal and Ed Asner?

    1. Maybe we'd should look at their ability to do second grade work before traipsing off to field trips.

  19. If anything, I'd expect the Xtn fundamentalists to complain that it has "magic" and the like.

  20. And here I thought multiculturalism was a good thing. Where are the social justice warriors when we need them?

  21. apparently some felt the trip was improper because there is a Christmas tree on the stage.

    "Some" are assholes. Fuck those people with a cactus.


    1. No, fuck them with an ebola tipped auger.

  22. Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

  23. my best friend's aunt makes $60 hourly on the computer . She has been fired for nine months but last month her check was $17081 just working on the computer for a few hours. go to website....


  24. this seems to be the extremist's backlash to the war on christmas and being bludgeoned repeatedly over the last 20 or so years by the extremist christians who insist on making people live under their will by usingl egislation to force their religion on all. BUT having said that, this is just ridiculous extremist lefty reaction (or atheist? is that who is getting itchy over this?) to extremist righty reaction. CAN WE ALL GET A GRIP and realize we live in a giant land of many cultures and be and let be.... enough of these extreme-people, they all need to chill out, both left and right.

    1. +1 but good luck with that. It is getting worse not better. With so many options on Internet and Media people now can choose to only look at what they agree with, never seeing a differing view.

  25. My best friend's mother-in-law makes $85 /hour on the internet . She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay was $16453 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    Visit this website ?????

  26. And in next week's episode of "When SJWs have kids"..

  27. For teh recordz, I and every other atheist I know is totally down with xmas trees because they are totally secular. And most of us are even down with the Santa Claus thing because it's a good learning experience.

  28. My kids go to public school.
    They go on a field trip to sing Christmas carols at the nursing home (even religious ones!). They make latkes during Hanukkah. They sing a Kwanzaa song that makes my husband crack up every time. He has no idea what Kwanzaa is, either.

    I would love for my kids to see the Nutcracker as a class trip. Even better, how about Elf the musical? Son of a Nutcracker!!! Parents will complain about ANYTHING, even little Susie's hangnail. Get a backbone and let the kids form their own opinions through exposure to the arts, even those with religious content.

  29. What's pathetic is that this is even a story.

  30. Anyone with even the slightest exposure to culture would realize that the Nutcracker is a Christmas ballet, the story taking place at Christmas, usually presented at Christmas, and that there lots of Christmas presents involved - so it's highly likely that there's a Christmas tree involved.

    Sometimes it seems like some parents would rather their children be exposed to Ebola than anything religious.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.