In just over one month, Santa Clause will be making his lists and checking them twice. Some names on the naughty list this year may include school board officials in a Maryland county. They announced recently that they plan to scrub the published school calendar of any mention of Christmas or any religious holiday. Kids would just have a “Winter Break" during the holiday season.

This move came in response to a request from Islamic leaders for their holy days to be recognized among the Jewish and Christian holidays as well. Each year, their efforts have been unfruitful, but next year, one of the days they request will be added falls on the same day as the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, so they asked Montgomery County to add that day to the school calendar alongside Yom Kippur.

School officials decided that if every religion wants recognition, no religion will get recognition. Officials will scrap any mention of religious holidays and that has parents of all faiths hopping mad.

Through emails, tweets, Facebook messages, and now national press, parents are voicing their anger over the decision in hopes that the board would reconsider the move. It’s doubtful that they will though.

The Washington Post reports:

Montgomery school board member Rebecca Smondrowski, for one, was flooded with angry messages. She had supported a proposal to strip Jewish and Muslim holy days from the calendar and offered an amendment to remove Christmas and Easter, too.

A day later, she stood by her decision and stressed that students would still have the holidays off; only the calendar presentation would change. The idea, she said, was to reflect that schools were not being closed for religious observances but because of high absenteeism among students and staff members on those days.

Montgomery’s school board vote to eliminate calendar references to religious holidays followed an earlier request by Muslim community leaders to give equal prominence on the calendar to the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha.

Board member Michael A. Durso, who cast the lone vote against stripping away all religious holidays, said the board may have underestimated how strongly people feel about recognizing those days.

“I think in the board’s efforts to resolve a situation, we may have created a few more problems than we intended,” Durso said.

Charles Haynes, who has written guidelines on how to deal with religion in schools and is director of the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum Institute in the District, said the board’s decision to do away with holiday names was unnecessary if school closings are done for legitimate reasons, such as high absenteeism.

Once again, we have an overreaction by a school board trying to be politically correct but touching off unintended consequences. Rather than make a decision on adding Islamic holidays, they made an unwarranted decision that is guaranteed to offend just about everybody. Muslim leaders who testified before the board said they didn’t want all of the holidays to be scrapped but just sought recognition. Now, they fear being blamed for political correctness run wild.

If the federal and local government recognizes the holiday of Christmas and sets guidelines for closures, why shouldn’t a local school system? It appears their rationale was convenience. Instead of dealing with adding an Islamic holiday to the calendar – a decision entirely within their discretion – they would rather end the conversation all together.

I hope parents don’t give up but continue to apply pressure to the school board. If these officials are truly responsive to the interests of the students, parents, and families, they should take the hint.

Each Christmas season, the political correctness police come out in full force to try to eradicate a national cultural tradition from our public schools, public squares, and memories. This is just the start to the season.