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Marshfield Schools To Keep 'Holiday' Break

MARSHFIELD (CBS) -- Back in September, the Marshfield School Committee voted 3-2 to change "Christmas Break" to "Holiday Break."

Since then, more than 4,000 residents signed a petition asking the committee to reconsider, and that was the focus of a special meeting Monday night. After two hours of debate, the school board voted to keep the name "Holiday Break" in a 3-2 vote

Marshfield resident Elaine Taylor is one of the people who led the effort to bring "Christmas" back to the school calendar.

"Some people have other holy days on their calendars because that's their community and what they believe," Taylor told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens. "But our community is Christian, and we should be able to hold on to those traditions."

Demonstrators were outside before the meeting even began Monday night.

Mark Swan was holding a sign for the break to be called "Christmas Break." He said he doesn't live in Marshfield nor does he have kids in the school system. "Holiday offends me. Christmas offends nobody," Swan said.

Kate Brannun disagreed with the demonstrators. She said she lives in Marshfield and is a professor of international relation and human rights. "I think the rights of other people need to be respected," said Brannun.

About 200 people attended the meeting and dozens spoke over the two hours. Most of those who spoke supported the school committee's decision and thought the new name of the break was more inclusive. The few who were against the new name said it was against tradition.

The school superintendent stressed all the activities are the same; the only difference is the name of the break.

School Committee Chairwoman Marti Morrison said that she appreciates that people feel strongly about their religious beliefs, but as a committee member, her job is to make decisions in the best interest of all students and the town.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports:

WBZ-TV's Katie Brace contributed to this report.


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