© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

'Merry Christmas' Bill Will Allow Religious Holiday Observance In Public Schools


It’s nearly the start of summer but a law about to come out of the Texas Legislature has a yuletide mission to provide protections to public schools who want to offer religious celebrations during the winter. 

House Bill 308, the Merry Christmas Bill, was filed by Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, and will allow students, teachers, administration, and other district staff the ability to say "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukah," or "Happy Holidays," without worrying about a lawsuit.

Schools will also be allowed to display nativity scenes, Christmas trees or menorahs as long as more than one religious celebration is recognized and visible and there is no message that would affirm one religion over another.

The purpose -- according to language in the bill -- is to educate students on the various traditional winter celebrations. To help drum up support for it, Bohac even created a website called for people to sign a petition (www.merrychristmasbill.com).

The bill passed both the House and Senate through a vast majority last month with only 5 dissenting or not present votes. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it, and if he does it will take effect in the coming school year.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules