The Wausau, Wisconsin school district has informed its music teachers that beginning this December, they must either perform five secular songs for every one religious song, have a concert with no holiday music at all, or cancel the concert altogether, the Christian Broadcast Network website reports today (October 11, 2013).
"The goal is to make sure that students do not feel coerced into performing songs that make them very uncomfortable," Kathleen Williams, Wausau School District superintendent, said. She added that public schools should not endorse any one religion.
But the new order is making people feel uncomfortable. The high school choir director called off all 15 of the elite master singers concerts. "This group sings at Christmas programs. We sing for nursing homes, grad schools, and businesses. To do that without Christmas music doesn't make sense," Phil Buch, Wausau West high school choir director, said.
Many parents agree and are angry about the dissolution of the traditional school Christmas concerts. Even the school board appears to have been blind-sided by the new ban on Christmas songs, according to Pat McKee, Wausau school board member. The school board will discuss the new music standards and hear from the community at an upcoming meeting.