NEWAYGO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Christmas decoration atop Newaygo Elementary will stay, the school board decided Monday, but district officials may consider altering it after a challenge from a group of activists.
For years — possibly more than 70, some say — decorations depicting the three wise men from the Bible have been erected on the roof the elementary school during the holiday season. This year, the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists complained, saying the decorations represent a violation of the separation of church and state.
The Newagyo Public Schools Board of Education held a special meeting on the matter Monday evening and heard public comment on the topic. Dozens of people attended the meeting, and it seemed that everyone supported leaving the display as it is, citing tradition.
"Please, leave our wise men alone," parent Michael Burns implored the board.
"Look away if it offends you," he added later, speaking to 24 Hour News 8.
"It's not overly religious," Newagyo resident Wayne Kauffman said. "It's appropriate and it's one that we've enjoyed as a community for many years."