Austin, TX, – The “Merry Christmas” Bill, received final passage by the Texas Senate and is now headed to Gov. Perry’s desk. State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and State Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) authored HB 308, which received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Texas House and Texas Senate. Joint Authors of HB 308 included Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo), Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Texas City), and Rep. Michael Villarreal (D-San Antonio). HB 308 makes it clear that public schools and their staff are permitted to acknowledge and educate students about historic and cultural roots of traditional winter celebrations and holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and others, and with school displays that can include Christmas trees, a Menorah, a Nativity scene, Santa Claus, Reindeer and more.
The legislation also makes it clear that school districts, staff, and students are permitted to use greetings such as “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Holidays” or others. Christmas has been recognized as a federal holiday by the United States since the 1870s. Texas school districts have seen long and costly court cases over Christmas expressions in Plano and Katy, and Fort Worth was recently involved in a controversy over Santa Claus at a public school. Landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases have made it clear that such expressions and displays are permissible.
Read more: txvalues.org