The Packer Collegiate Institute, a prep school in Brooklyn, revised its “Holiday” program after a protest by the Catholic League.
In December, the school held a holiday celebration that recognized Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but not Christmas. Students in the middle-school grades sang songs celebrating the Jewish and African-American holidays, but when it came to Christmas, they sang a song with altered lyrics, lyrics that deleted any reference to Christmas. Students were then encouraged to wish each other “Happy End of the Year,” an obvious way of avoiding the dreaded salutation, “Merry Christmas.”
After a league member contacted the national office, the league sent a letter protesting this action. A phone call from the Packer Collegiate Institute was very encouraging: steps had already been taken to assure that the program for older students gave due recognition of Christmas, and assurances were given that corrective measures had already been instituted so that what happened in 1996 would not happen again in 1997