German High School: Christmas Celebration Suspended As Christmas Songs Not Compatible With Muslim Pupil’s Beliefs
An original translation from NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, public broadcaster):
Christmas Party at Lüneburg high school voluntary
December 20, 2017
The Johanneum in Lüneburg this year will forgo a Christmas celebration during class time. The reason: it appears that last year a Muslim pupil complained that the Christmas songs that were sung were not compatible with her belief. Instead of the mandatory celebration during class time, there will now be a voluntary celebration in the afternoon. This is what the school administration decided upon. The chair of the school parents’ council said that this was a compromise she could live with.
School invokes school law
In their decision, the high school invokes the Lower Saxony school law. It says that during class, religious beliefs must be respected, and the feelings of people with dissenting opinions are to be respected. In music class, no religious songs were sung either, says the leader of the high school.
Implementation is up to the school
Each school can decide for itself how the rule is to be implemented, said a spokesman for the school board. The paragraph in the school law was not a prohibition on singing Christian songs. Not all schools handle the situation in the same way as the Johanneum. In the Catholic elementary school in Lüneburg, the Muslim pupils attend the Christmas celebration, says the school director. Some Muslim parents deliberately registered their children at that school so that their children could come to know other cultures and religions.