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Massachusetts Middle School Cancels Field Trip to see Miracle on 34th Street Because of Objectionable Content Part 2

November 14, 2007

 Cross posted on Grizzly Groundswell

In case you missed part one of this story you can read it here.

 This is a story that Michael Graham, a Boston talk show host has been hammering on the last couple of days. Naturally I thought this was post worthy so when I got home the other night I searched the internet for the article about this story, I found none. After two days of searching I found the letter the principal of McCall middle school in Massachusetts sent home to the parents of the seventh graders whose field trip to A Miracle On 34th Street was cancelled. That letter is linked in part one if you would like to read it just follow the link above.

 After the story received allot of play on talk radio the story finally made the Boston Herald, so now I have more details and thought I would follow up on my first post.

bansanta.jpg“The people who complained were concerned about the very narrow focus on Santa Claus,” French said yesterday. “The ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ is not in any way, shape or form tied to our curriculum. That was brought to my attention by parents.”

“It would have been a nice experience, but parents can take their kids to that on their own,” French said. “Certainly, kids in Winchester get plenty of exposure to Santa Claus and all that Santa Claus represents and the gifts that he brings on Christmas morning. I don’t think they’re missing out much.”

 So now the principal is in spin control mode. If you read the letter he sent out to the parents in my first post you will see he said the following in that letter:

the basic theme is objectionable to some members of our McCall Middle School

While I believe there are valid reasons for participating in such a trip, the objectionable nature of the content overrides these concerns.

 He is now lying his ass off when he says it was cancelled because it didn’t fit the curriculum. He clearly stated that some people found the story objectionable and that is why he cancelled it. He didn’t state parents said the story didn’t fit the school’s curriculum.

 Many of the normal parents are very upset at this turn of events.

“If you don’t want to send your child, don’t send your child, but don’t ruin it for the rest,” said one parent who requested anonymity. “All the kids were excited about it.”

 That hits the nail on the head. When I was a child I had to bring in a permission slip to go on a field trip, if my parents didn’t want me to go on it then I didn’t get permission. I then either had to stay in school while the class went on the trip, or stay home on the day of the trip. There was no cancelling of a field trip because one child couldn’t go.

 Seventh grade students at the school had their field trip cancelled because of objectionable material, yet in a strange twist, sixth grade students are allowed to go on a field trip to A Christmas Carol. Why?

French said the school will continue its annual trip to the North Shore Music Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” another holiday classic that parents have complained about in the past. But French said “A Christmas Carol” is about a season and the “human condition.”

“It is something we teach in the sixth-grade curriculum. They read an abridged version of the Dickens classic,” French said. “None of that is true for ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’ ”

 It’s about a season. He is right there, it’s about the CHRISTMAS SEASON.

 What a bunch of bullshit.

Check out the Boston Herald article for more.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2007 6:04 pm

    great post!


  2. November 15, 2007 10:51 pm

    I feel sorry for these children who have such idiots for parents. They barely stand a chance to grow up normal.

    Cognitive dissonance is not a great parenting quality.


  3. Oliver Steinberg permalink
    November 18, 2007 3:52 am

    I don’t sense we have got to the bottom of this. Was the objection actually against Santa Claus’s being made the central symbolic figure of Christmas, rather than the birth of Jesus? There is certainly a whiff of paganism and “magical” business in the classic movie, “Miracle on 34th Street.”

    Might a parent have been objecting because the movie ignores the “Miracle in the Bethlehem Manger”? Indeed, the “Santa Claus” in the movie isn’t even presented as the (possibly legendary) Saint Nicholas of Christian tradition, but rather as “Kris Kringle.”

    Everyone wants to jump to conclusions. Sometimes these situations need more careful inspection. In any case, a parent or several parents who object to a field trip should just get their own kids excused, and not ruin it for everyone else.

    Of course, back in the 1600’s, New Englanders were under the government of stern Puritans who discouraged all festive celebrations of Christmas as being non-Biblical and of pagan derivation (which was true originally, but why fuss so much about it?)


  4. November 19, 2007 8:50 am

    Hard to believe Christmas is already around the corner. I am ready for some Thanksgiving turkey though.


  5. November 29, 2007 4:35 pm

    What was that Kurt Vonnegut Jr. story that society got to the point that anything offensive to anyone else was banned? At some point, there needs to be some kind of tolerance. IMHO.


  6. Winchester student permalink
    December 3, 2007 7:00 pm

    I am an eigth grader attending he McCall Middle School, and I agree that it was very wrong of Mr. French to cancel the field trip for my younger sister and her freinds. However, because our principal slipped up once, does not mean that he is a criminal. The way this whole situation was handled was poor, and I wish that these parents had not complained about this. Just keep in mind that one slip up should not be the only thing you judge a person by.

    P.S. By the way, I am on your side. He totally shouldn’t have cancelled the feild trip like that. :]



  1. Massachusetts Middle School Cancels Field Trip to see Miracle on 34th Street Because of Objectionable Content « Wake Up America

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