NORWAY: With two months left till Christmas, in Rygge municipality the word is already on everyone's lips.
Or rather the alleged ban on Christmas.
The atmosphere between the school and parents has been so heated that the school management found it necessary to arrange a meeting to discuss the racket, which in local newspapers is named "The Christmas uprising in Ekholt."
The reason is that parents at a meeting in September were advised not to use the word Christmas in connection with a Christmas lunch they asked to arrange in December.
Instead the parents were told it could be named Winter lunch or December lunch. The explanation? The word "Christmas" could hurt children who do not celebrate Christmas.
- December is for some children at Ekholt a difficult time. In much of December they are left outside the social community when everyone else is concerned about Christmas. It was in this connection I told parents that I would urge that they used another word, confirms the principal Line Lofstad Andersen at Ekholt School to Dagbladet.
The last few days she has been massively criticized.
What has been perceived as a ban on the word Christmas, has made many parents angry.
- Many parents have contacted me. Celebrating Christmas is a tradition deeply rooted in Norwegian society, and in the Norwegian school. Some things should simply not be touched, says Michael Torp from Rygge FRP, who has called the principal in for a meeting.
Another who has reacted is parliament member Ulf Leirstein, who has criticised the matter on twitter.
"That my old elementary school Ekholt in Rygge should no longer be allowed to use words such as Christmas and Easter. Because it can offend someone ... tragic," writes Leirstein on twitter.
The principal believes the matter is blown out of proportions - and denies that she has introduced any ban on Christmas.
She says she has just urged parents to find another word for Christmas.
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