Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed into law Thursday House Bill 308 – the so-called “Merry Christmas bill” – which states that “a school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ and ‘happy holidays.”
Schools are also allowed to “display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas tree, if the display includes a scene or symbol of more than one religion or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.”
Perry announced that he was signing the bill via Twitter Thursday, sending out a slew of tweets in reference and even wishing Texans a “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, & Happy Holidays.”
The bill’s sponsors, Republican State Rep. Dwayne Bohac and Republican Sen. Robert Nichols, had set up a website promoting the bill that even included a petition and “Tales of Christmas Past” where supporters could share their thoughts on why the bill was needed.
“In today’s world of political correctness run amok, Christmas Trees have been replaced with ‘Holiday Trees’ and simple on-campus greetings such as ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah’ can land a student or teacher in hot water,” the website reads.
“Whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah, our children, teachers, parents and school administrators should have the freedom to acknowledge these traditions in our public schools without fear of censorship, punishment, persecution or litigation. The Merry Christmas Bill guarantees that freedom.”