.- The Maplewood Public School District is facing a lawsuit for having banned traditional Christmas music, including instrumentals, last month.
Groups, such as the Martin Luther King Gospel Choir and the Brass Ensemble, were banned from performing traditional Christmas songs and carols.
The lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center Friday on behalf of Michael Stratechuk and his two children, who are students in the New Jersey school district. The plaintiffs claim that the policy is unconstitutional.
The Law Center is arguing that the school district’s total ban on religious music conveys a government-sponsored message of hostility toward religion. It also argues that the ban denies students the opportunity to learn about and listen to music that has influenced the cultural and historic development of society.
“The constitution does not require our public schools to become religion–free zones,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center. “Forcing students to strip all religious content from music is like asking them to study art history while excluding paintings from the Renaissance because they contain religious subjects.”