Posted by Deborah Pujoue on December 16, 2011
As the Christmas season arrives, it was inevitable that there would be some more political correctness issues thrust upon us. This time I am talking about a popular Christmas Carol that has some parents enraged.
A question trending on Yahoo! right now is whether changing a few words in a Christmas carol will change the meaning of a song. According to the parents of elementary students in Michigan, the answer to that question is “no.”
This whole conversation is in response to something that a music teacher at Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City did to a popular Christmas Carol. This teacher decided to change the word “gay” to “bright” in the popular carol “Deck the Halls” for use in the children’s Christmas concert. The teacher defended her actions by saying that first and second graders couldn’t stop giggling at the word “gay.” Guess times have changed… when I was a kid, we just giggled whenever someone said Winnie the Pooh (emphasis on POOH).
Anyway, many parents have gotten so upset about the change that they have been going nuts in expressing their opinions on the school’s Facebook page. One parent said, “By taking the word ‘gay’ out of ‘Deck the Halls,’ you are making it a big deal. One word can have different meanings.” That makes sense to me. Or as another parent said, “Can one word in a 150-year-old classic Christmas carol really offend someone?”
It turns out that it can. The school responded to these comments by removing the negative posts and disabling wall posting so that no new posts can be put in their place. The principle of Cherry Knoll, Chris Parker, is on the parents’ side, saying, “This would have been a great opportunity to teach that ‘gay’ has more than one meaning and is not a bad word.”
Fortunately, the lyrics have been returned to their normal state as a result of all of this drama. But it did raise an interesting question: How much will we have to change before everyone can be satisfied?