Inside L-S: That's "spring break" to you

It’s finally time for Spring Break (and finally feeling like Spring). And although shorter than Winter Break, Spring Break shares a similarity with it’s colder cousin: they both fall around Christian holidays.
Limelight file photo

But you’ll never hear a teacher or administrator call it Easter break, at least not casually. To the school, which also follows the doctrine of separation of church and state, it’s just Spring Break. About the only thing we do at L-S that even moderately evokes the holiday is our Easter egg hunt, which in fact stems more out of a pagan tradition than anything.

So what is the issue with religion in schools? One hundred years ago, students may still have been learning vocabulary out of the Bible. So what all has changed, or stayed the same? This somewhat controversial long weekend might be the best place to start.

For the administration, they are simply doing their job and keeping school a purely educational institution (in fact, outside of World Literature and Comparative religions, an elective, there is no religious text or doctrine in L-S at all).

Dr. Feeney said that “outside of having days off,” he could think of no significant acknowledgment of the holiday in school. And having been in education for nine years, plus his own years of education, he can’t recall Easter being celebrated in schools at all.

When asked if he got any complaints about religion at L-S, he said “that’s a tough one,” depending on how you define either a religion, or a full blown complaint against it.

“I don’t get many complaints,” he explains, however, “and this community is good at recognizing diversity.” file photo from FCS's day of
prayer in September 2015

But what about people in L-S who do celebrate Easter? We asked Mrs. Bobbi Jo Garrett, one of the teachers who oversees the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), her viewpoint. For Easter, “we usually have someone come in and speak,” she said, and “this year we’ve continued a series on prayer.” But even the FCS must be careful, because “different people do Easter differently,” and they don’t actively do anything during the school day.

“I don’t even remember when prayer was in schools,” she says, and having the Easter bunny visit elementary students was all she could think of in the way of acknowledgement.

About the FCS, she said she believes its purpose is “to have people from different denominations with each other, and learn with and about each other,” and that there has been no resistance to an FCS here.

“We try to make it easy to be student led,” she explained, and gave the example that if a group of Muslim students wanted a student led club, they should certainly be allowed to form it as well.

“I am a huge proponent of separation of church and state,” she explains. She doesn’t think people should practice a religion just because it’s the “popular” one, or have it chosen for them.

So Spring Break at L-S is rightfully Spring Break; it just conspicuously falls during Holy Week every year.

--Justin Burkett, Managing Editor

Edited: BP

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