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No Holiday Play this year at Mansfield Elementary

Holiday play moved this year in response to complaints.

The Mansfield elementary holiday play will not be playing this year after complaints were lodged against the religious nature of some of the songs.

Principal Teresa Murphy said that about half a dozen residents complained last year and that the play will instead occur later and will have a Martin Luther King Day theme.

Mansfield school committee chair Michael Trowbridge said that it’s a shame and he loved the plays every year, and commented that six complaints usually don’t phase him.

“I get more than that every day,” he said.

Murphy said this may not be permanent.

“That’s not to say it won’t come back next year,” she said.

ED December 12, 2012 at 01:15 PM
No I wouldn't, because it's not my place to tell someone else what their culture is supposed to be. If someone wants to celebrate Hanukah or Kwanzaa or a Muslim holiday, they are obligated as human beings, to do what they want. This is why Brockton will always have more fortitude than weak schools like Mansfield. Absolutely no tolerance for diversity.
ED December 12, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I wouldn't mind at all. I'm from Brockton, and we actually take interest in one another's beliefs, not just our own. It's called not being racist.
ED December 12, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Anyone who agreed to have the plays and concerts cancelled are pretty racist. We can't have traditions anymore, just because you don't like that there's Jewish words in some of the songs. Racism. Mansfield is full of racists.
ME December 12, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Non complainer, you have said the only thing needed to be said! Agree 100%. Not sure they are I king on the kids but the school in general.
ESVaughn December 12, 2012 at 03:37 PM
ESVAUGHN Thank you for clarifying - it was a choral concert. Secondly, I remember very well that there were complaints about the 'religious' music in the program. However, as one of the organizers of the concert I know that there were no songs mentioning Jesus' birth. The word 'Christmas' was probably sung, but that was the extent of the 'religious' lyric. Instead, the children sang about eating a lot of yummy food; and going shopping (which someone complained that girls singing that was too stereotypical); catching a cold in the winter time - to the tune of a Bach fugue (music for music's sake); bells ringing - based on a poem by Edgar Allen Poe (a literary connection); another song about bells; a Hanukah piece (if you're not Jewish, you learned about another culture); a song about wishing on a star for peace; and another song about when you share peace and love, it's like passing a flame from one candle to another. This particular piece was also sung at the Dr. Martin Luther King celebration that was held at the Town Hall this year. By the way, about 90 of the 200 students in the chorus attended this event on their day off from school! I think these families received the message and intent of the concert - to educate AND entertain.
Rick December 12, 2012 at 03:58 PM
There are so many things wrong with your logic my brain hurts. Are you really advocating majority rule? If this country was based on that, you, as a woman, wouldn't even be able to vote. You idiot.
George Marino December 12, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Agreed - I would have much more respect for the complainers if they'd simply organize a play of their own that they could share with everybody. Intolerance breeds intolerance.
George Marino December 12, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Ben - instead of no holiday shows, why not two (or more) holiday shows? Is it really that bad of an idea that a community be brought together to appreciate the spirit of being kind to one another? What better way than for everybody to be afforded the opportunity to express their ways/cultures by sharing something grander in scale instead of just sharing their complaints about others' practices.
George Marino December 12, 2012 at 05:28 PM
New traditions are wonderful...but not at the expense of other ones that majorities of people embrace and enjoy. Sadly, I think hiding behind the veil is extremely embarrassing to the policymakers of Mansfield.
George Marino December 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM
This is getting beyond absurd. I do not believe I am an intolerant person, by any means, but I find it very hard to believe that an annual celebration like this would "offend" individuals to the point where the views of the extreme minority would affect the happiness and seasonal good spirit of the overwhelming majority. I highly doubt they were re-enacting Christ's crucifixion, or something else as equally controversial. People should re-evaluate their points of contention; if there is sentiment that a January MLK concert is appropriate (and why not - seems like a good idea), perhaps the complainers should step forward to volunteer and produce the additional show for all of us to enjoy too - but I see no need to cancel the prior efforts and replace it with an alternative without due cause. And if volunteering their time is not practical, lobbying the disctrict/legislature to set aside funds/efforts would be a much better spend of their time and effort, as opposed to their complaints demanding cancellation of the previous, good-natured tradition.
Helen T. December 12, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Maybe these complainers should just home-school...then they won't have to worry about their children learning anything other than what they want them to know...(and no, I am NOT putting down home-school)
Joey Tryon December 12, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I am only now realizing why, apart from the fact that I have a full time job, I have not posted my opinions on line previously! This no longer seems to be about the "concert" or the children! This is about a handful of people trying to ruin it for those that are trying to do something nice and about another handful of people who don't know how to play in the sandbox with others! I am appalled that spelling is being critiqued, people have had their intelligence questioned and words like idiot have been bandied around. Shame on those of you that have sullied the topic for your own personal interests and good luck!
Tina Silverio December 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM
you're right, we are extending the issue to politics regarding political-correctedness and the like, but it's kindof hard not to. But i completely agree that sniping at other around here doesn't do a darned thing to work anything out and is petty. We have work to do if we want to fix this, and nothing of the issue will have a snowball chance in hell of being addressed if we're all going at one another instead.
brisox December 12, 2012 at 07:06 PM
After sending 2 kids through this school, it is clear to me that JJ really stands for "Just a Joke".
Julie Novio December 12, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I am extremely disappointed that the voices of 6 people are overruling an entire community, if that is, in fact, what happened. I personally don't believe that the "squeaky wheel should get the grease". We pay the salaries of professional, dedicated, and knowledgeable educators to run our schools. For years they believed that this concert was beneficial to the student. The reason seem numerous to me. The fact that they coward to 6 complaints and forgot about all the benefits that were awarded to our students from this concert is what truly disappoints me. I don't blame the 6 complainers at all. They have every right to complain about whatever they feel strongly about. I trust our administrators to put the best interests of our students in the forefront and I don't believe that is what happened in this case. Completely disappointing.
Jonathan Lucier December 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM
AMEN!!!!
joe December 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I live in Mansfield and think this is complete bull crap!!!!! A few complain and everyone must change their tradition. Here is an idea, if you are offended, dont attend... and go back to your dark cave and pine quietly. This is a much larger than canceling a holiday concert for 4th and 5th graders... its a problem with society... for a culturally diverse country, which is a foundational cornerstone, we are now leading people to believe in NOTHING. Its a shame and the administration who were involved in the decision should be ashamed and should be publicly held accountable to give their point of view... before we tar and feather them. We are a weak society. I'm boycotting anything to do with MLK anything. Not because I don't appreciate the significance of MLK, rather to not be steered by 6 individuals. If these 6 had any respect for the rest of the population of a diverse society, they should stand up in a public forum and voice their opinions. Rather they are covered under a shroud ofr privacy and can change the tradition. And the administration complies so to not offend. What about the other 500 families that didn't have a problem with the tradition?
HJ December 12, 2012 at 11:47 PM
This is bogus. I'm calling the school to complain about MLK day. I hate MLK , just like these whack job athiests hate Christmas. Yet the nuts who make the decisions will cower to the liberal ideology.
HJ December 12, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Do I get a footbath befoe I enter the auditorium?
ME December 13, 2012 at 01:36 AM
What the hell is wrong with you people? The concert was NOT canceled!!!! It was never going to be held in December. The kids and their families have known since September that the concert would be held in January. It also has nothing to do with MLK. My child is in chorus! I have seen the music. I am thrilled they will participate in a concert. Who cares when? The school is not here to foster my traditions. That is my job as a parent. You are all so bitter, you talk about tolerance and then bash people about mis spelling words etc. be joyful the Mansfield has a wonderful program and as a district are lucky to have a thriving arts program when so many other districts no longer have these programs at all. Get your facts straight before whining about it please!
BH December 13, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Anyone who is upset or mad or telling "complainers" to go back to their "caves" really needs to open their eyes and show some respect, their opinions and views are just as important and valid as yours, that is the basis of this country, we have the freedom to disagree. Who is anyone to believe they are 100% in the right? these are all opinions, this is debate, its been going on for thousands of years. Also for whoever said we pay the salaries of the teachers and asked if radio stations stop playing Christmas music, this is a public school, just because a parent pays into it does not mean their beliefs or a teachers are right. i pay into these schools and i have no kids, my money is worth just as much as yours.I have no idea why or when religion of any kind crept in. Theories and history of religion is one thing, but no religion should be celebrated in any public school. If you desperately want your kids in a holiday or religious play, send them to private school, start an acting club, this is not the role of a public school. And last I checked most radio stations are privately held, they can play whatever they want, there is no comparison.
John R. December 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Last night's Christmas Concert at the Mansfield High School was excellent.
GregoryRobertSamuels December 13, 2012 at 06:52 PM
@Ed- Maybe you will explain to everyone how following the Constitution of the United States is racist...you don't sound racist you sound un-American or just uninformed as to the founding of our nation.
Mama December 14, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I hope they are allowed to continue with the tradition of putting on this performance in the coming years. As a former member of the Concert Choir, this concert( and back then also involved a play) was the highlight of the Christmas season for me and countless others.
Whiners go home December 15, 2012 at 06:30 PM
In the past people of all faiths & no faith at all got along together & respected each others traditions. It doesn't mean they subscribed to another's faith--it just means they respect each other & the right to celebrate their traditions then somebody along & pushed Baby Jesus out of His manger. ( Christmas IS a religious holiday. millions of people have always celebrated Christmas they are not wrong. Merry Christmas- don't be afraid or ashamed to say it out loud. Jesus deserves to be honored- if you don't like it if you don't like the music, the beautiful nativities or the love of The Holy Family & the Lights- these inspire rational people to love one another. Jesus is love. If you are offended by this innocent concert- Just don't participate. if "silent night" threatens you-stay away. Jesus I love You. Mansfield if You love Jesus- stand up to these religion haters & defend Him. He would defend You . He did - 2000 years ago. Merry Christ mas.
Whiners go home December 15, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Sadly- you don't even know what separation of Church & State means. Our forefathers came to this country to escape British rule over their religion. Their purpose was to keep the two separate because they were being bullied. Separation of Church & State states that The Government MAY NOT tell the Church what it may do. Religions are their own entity -not a slave to the government's whims or laws. Your ignorance of what Church & State means -shows you are a liberal grasping for straws because you are an anti-religious bigot. and like many of your kind- you hide behind something you don't even understand. If you hate Christians why don't you just come out & say it-instead of throwing a term around that you obviously don't know what it really means? Do some research before you show your ignorance. and May the Baby Jesus show you mercy for turning your back on Him- an innocent Baby who saved your soul by His suffering & death. Millions of people love & honor Him-The Prince of Peace every year at Christmas. Are you threatened by the beauty or the joy of Christmas carols?
Whiners go home December 15, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Ken you said it. Where is Mansfield's backbone? Jesus (who these whiners are so offended by) said "Love One Another- as I have loved You." Those who hate Him or the religion He founded- are not only racist-they are people who twist religion into being an evil instead of what it is- a way to praise God, & learn how to be a better person. Nobody is perfect but at least people who are genuinely religious- are trying. What are the haters doing to spread love & to work on themselves? They are pretty cocky & not at all interested in anyone else's tradition-so why is anyone surprised at their bigotry? But why should you let a few barking dogs ruin your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah or whatever you celebrate? And mansfield- your taxes pay that principal. She works for you- you don't work for her- she has no right to cancel your child's Christmas concert on her own. Who does she think she is- just because a few people are scared of some Christmas carols & other seasonal music. i say all religious groups in Mansfield - get off your duffs & meet in the center of town & sing from your traditional celebrations from the top of your lungs! Let everyone know you are celebrating and supporting each others right to do so..Mansfield belongs to the people- not a few crabby losers who hate a joyful celebration. Go back to your hole in the ground you weasels and leave the happy people alone. One day you will look in the mirror & see how ugly your bigotry looks on your face. Botox won't fix it.
Whiners go home December 15, 2012 at 08:09 PM
i agree with you. where i grew up-they were called "busy bodies". (my Dad had another word for them i won't use here...) but they should busy their bodies with something other than the "analyze everything to death" approach. That negative behavior only repels people. so what if the concert has Christian & the music of other faith traditions & secular music too? who could be so upset about that? it will be educational & won't have an adverse affect on anyone but the six complainers, You can't have everything you want in life- like spoiled brats often will find when they are not being spoiled- so if you can't let yourself enjoy a diverse program- why don't you go whine & dine together as a half dozen group of pouting big babies- while the rest of the town goes out to have a Merry good old time without you. You are leaving yourselves out.
LL December 17, 2012 at 08:27 AM
So much bickering. "Much a do about Nothing" If you want to put on a play, then do it on your front lawn. If you go to a public school; you miss out on religion. If you want to live in the United States you need follow the law. Where is this complaining getting you? Free speech. Just be thankful you can talk like this, because someday you will be band from the Internet and will not be able to voice your thoughts without being accused of talking against the government. You all best get on with your lives and support your friends and family because you could loose it in a split second. I'm going to worship God while I still can.
LL December 17, 2012 at 08:29 AM
So much bickering. "Much a do about Nothing" If you want to put on a play, then do it on your front lawn. If you go to a public school; you miss out on religion. If you want to live in the United States you need follow the law. Where is this complaining getting you? Free speech. Just be thankful you can talk like this, because someday you will be banned from the Internet and will not be able to voice your thoughts without being accused of talking against the government. You all best get on with your lives and support your friends and family because you could loose it in a split second. I'm going to worship God while I still can.

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