One state’s education department says principals will decide how, when and if Christmas is celebrated in classrooms.
In a statement, the Queensland Education Department said it is individual school principals – and not the department – who are best placed to make these decisions.
They will also determine what, if any, festive songs students can sing.
“The Department believes principals are best placed to make decisions about celebrating Christmas in their schools and will support these decisions,” Department spokesman, Bevan Brennan, told The Australian.
However, in Victoria, students will be able to decorate classrooms, sing carols and dress up as biblical characters this year after the Department issued clarification on the matter.
In a statement provided to The Herald Sun last week, the Department said schools are encouraged to “celebrate the diversity and traditions of our society by participating in a range of Christmas festivities, which can include singing carols, trimming the tree, performing the nativity scene or making decorations”.
There had previously been confusion around whether the state would allow Christmas celebrations in its schools – a matter which was put to rest after the state’s Education Minister, James Merlino, posted a video to his Facebook page.
“Around this time last year there were a whole lot of lies about the government supposedly banning Christmas carols in schools,” he said in the video.
“Well, if those people had actually visited a school, they would have heard students singing Jingle Bells and Silent Night, just like they always have, just like they will again this year.”
He added that the number of letters he received about this was “enough to put Santa's mail bag to shame”.
“It certainly kept the elves in the Education Department busy,” he said.