My Turn, Your Turn: Rudolph controversy

By Gary McNair - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Have you ever been so frustrated you didn't know where to start?

That's exactly how I feel about this "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" controversy at Murrayville Elementary.

In case you missed it - the school's principal recently took the holiday song out of an upcoming concert because one parent complained the lyrics included the words "Santa" and "Christmas."

After complaints to the contrary by other parents, attorneys advised the school they could put the song back in.

This is ridiculous!  I guess it wouldn't bother me nearly as much if the parent was objecting to a religious song like "Silent Night."  But Rudolph?  And the word Santa? Are we going to take cupid out of Valentine's Day?  You do know that day was named for a Saint?

A word of warning to the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny - - take cover now.  They are coming for you next.

You know what all this is really about, don't you?  Foolishness.  And that day is celebrated on April 1st - not in December.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Viewer Responses:

As a parent at Murrayville, I am very disappointed to see that all of the hard work our kids and our wonderful music teacher has done on this program was completely over looked. The concert last night was beautiful. The 4th and 5th grade steel drum band played as the K-2 students sang about a reindeer. How many schools boast of a steel drum band made up of their students? Did anyone care about the kids mugging in the front of the stage as they sang about Mr. Snow? Nope, all anyone was concerned about was a reindeer.


I am with you!  How ridiculous to even be having any controversy about a Chldrens' Christmas Song.  Secondly, why does national news hone in on something as ridiculous as this and give it  national attention?

It seems our country has lost all common sense on many things.


I totally agree with Mr McNair. It's just plain foolish and a crying shame  that a grown person would try and keep a childrens beloved character out of Christmas,  They have already taken Christ out of our schools and now they are trying to take Christmas away from us too, us that beleive in Christ and the things that represents him needs to STAND UP and tell them to back off and that also includes Christmas, Easter bunny,and the tooth fairy, why take that away from our children too? The world is already in a tremol over the recent events that has taken place in the cousre of a year or  so,  give the children and their families  a little bit of hope, something to ENJOY!!!


I agree. This is getting out of control. If a parent doesn't believe or want their child to believe they should notify the school about not letting their child participate in the program. No one forces anyone to attend a program, but these people are forcing everyone else to abide by theie beliefs. It's about time that the rest of us stand up and be counted. Thank you for letting me stand up.


I'm Jewish, suppose you lived in a Jewish neighborhood, how happy would you be if your children wanted you to play with a dreydel--or sing about Purim--to the exclusion of Easter/Christmas.  Public schools are not the place to teach about Santa or Moses or Muhammad--or Buddha or Tao or the Dalai Lama.  Read the biographies of our founding fathers--they were against state sponsored religions--totally.  Eisenhower added "under G.d" to the pledge--for political gain.

You are Christian and live in the majority, and are thus blind to the pain of explaining to 6 year olds that Jews don't have Santa in the house.  I don't want a latke song added, I want all religious references out of all public schools--I guess I'm more the patriot than are you.  What would Jefferson do?


The last time I check Murrayville was listed as a public school - this means it is a school for everyone - all races, all nationalities, both genders.  To share in all types of life, education and beliefs. If the complaining parents are so offended by a song in the school wide concert - then they ought to take thier child out and find a private school specifically geered towards the education they prefer.

In this day and time the this is the last thing we need or want to hear about. We need to learn to stand united no matter what your likes or dislikes are - we are Americans, the melting pot of the world - so melt together!!!


Some people take things a bit far.  Holiday programs and music are part of the "learning experience" for the children.  We sing patriotic songs and learn of the history of this country.  We tend to worry that we are forcing "religion" upon students if they sing about the holidays, however, they should have the option to not participate if it is counter to their religious beliefs (ex. Pledging allegiance to the US flag).  Rudolph is "folk lore" and not religious.  At least the attorneys got this one right.  To be honest, chorus and band can get away with playing sacred music because that music is now looked upon as being good music from the educational standpoint.


A parent complained about a song in one school's Christmas concert, it was taken out and put back in. So what? Why should we all care? Actually, I know the answer. It's one of those hot button issues that get people all hot and bothered ("They won't even let us say 'Merry Christmas'" anymore!) and coincedentally, watching Channel 6 to find out more.  Aren't there more important events going on in Wilmington besides what's on the holiday concert program for one elementary school.

This was nobody's business and it should have been stayed within the school.