When the Elf on the Shelf appeared in Deborah Seri’s daughter’s classroom in Milford last December, she took her complaint to the superintendent. Seri’s family is Jewish, and the Christmas character made her second-grader uncomfortable.
“My daughter was the only one in the class who didn’t celebrate Christmas,” Seri said. “It made her feel awkward; it made her feel like she was the only one.”
The district was receptive to a policy change, but the new rules, in turn, created controversy. On Thursday, the Milford School Committee will once again debate Christmas characters and symbols — and their place in public schools.
A policy passed last summer established guidelines for religious symbols and celebrations of religious holidays in Milford schools. Among the new restrictions: Religious symbols or displays were not permitted in public spaces, in spaces visible from the outside of the school, or on teacher-generated materials, except those related to curriculum on religion or culture.