A Central Texas school district has decided to keep a Charlie Brown-themed Christmas poster out of a middle school because it showed one of the characters quoting a Bible verse.
The Killeen school board voted against the poster Tuesday night, according to KWTX-TV, despite Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urging the district to reverse course.
The six-foot tall decoration had been posted by a staff member to the front door of the nurse’s office at Patterson Middle School.
It showed the Peanuts character Linus and the quote: “For unto you is born this day in the City of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. . .That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”
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The school’s principal told the staff member that the Bible reference would have to be removed or the poster would have to be taken down.
Religious nonprofit Texas Values and Paxton objected to the principal’s decision.
They argued the poster should have been protected under the state’s Merry Christmas Bill, which allows the exchange of holiday greetings in classrooms without the risk of a lawsuit, as long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are included.
Paxton, on Tuesday, said removing the poster was an attempt to “censor the true meaning of Christmas” and “an attack on religious liberty,” according to a post on his Facebook page.
Killeen officials defended their decision last week.
“Our employees are free to celebrate the Christmas and holiday season in the manner of their choosing. However, employees are not permitted to impose their personal beliefs on students,” the district said in a statement, according to KWTX.