Many of us recall the vacation from school during December and January being called Christmas Break — but now most schools call it Winter or Holiday Break. Brent Matz, a spokesman for Family First, says that’s one reason the non-profit advocacy group sent out hundreds of letters to school leaders in Iowa and elsewhere in recent weeks. Matz says students have many legal rights that allow them to celebrate or at least recognize Christmas while at a public school, including saying “Merry Christmas” and singing Christmas carols.

He says the letter was simply to inform superintendents of students’ rights. Matz says it seems other religion’s holidays can be mentioned, but it’s become a big no-no to say Christmas. He says 90-percent of Americans celebrate and recognize Christmas and not mentioning it runs the risk of offending them. Matz says some people are now afraid to even say “Merry Christmas” to friends and co-workers, fearing someone will accuse them of insensitivity.

He says “We’re just trying to stop the slippery slope that we’ve been on for the last couple of years and just to recognize Christmas in the mainstream again.” Matz says Iowa schools, for the most part, understand what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to religion. For more information, surf to “www.familyfirst.net”.