An Alabama elementary school is banning the word Easter from campus activities because the principal said that even secular symbols such as the Easter bunny relate too closely to religion and would not only offend someone but do something even more serious.
"Kids love the bunny and we just try to make sure that we don't say the 'Easter' bunny so that we don't infringe upon the rights of others because people relate the Easter bunny to religion," said Principal Lydia Davenport of Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Ala.
Davenport informed teachers on Monday (March 25) that the school's plans to have an "academic egg hunt" for kindergarten and second grade students would have to be cancelled. Instead, teachers are being asked to use something else besides eggs and to not mention the word "Easter," according to local news reports.
At first, teachers had planned to host a "quiz bowl" egg hunt where students would chime in to answer with egg buzzers and look for answers to questions in "Easter eggs," WHNT reported.
Upon hearing about the story, evangelist ministry leader Jay Lowder of Harvest Ministries in Texas told The Christian Post that he was surprised to hear of the news coming out of the South, "which is known as the Bible belt and has historically been a place with a more conservative viewpoint."
"I have seen people get to place where they become so restrictive on vocabulary that they limit a child's ability to develop his or her own beliefs," Lowder said. "To isolate one common word gives the impression to a child that this word is wrong. That is very controlling and unfair. The position of any school is to educate – that includes offering varying sides on a variety of subjects.
"For Christians, bunnies, eggs and bonnets are not what we associate with the celebration of 'Easter,'" he added. "Even the word itself is not representative. Our celebration is 'Resurrection Sunday' and is about the cross on which Jesus died for all of us and His resurrection three days later."
During his radio show, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh addressed the school's decision by saying, "Well, what's the point? What's this, the bunny holiday? Why are we celebrating the bunny? What's the big deal? Who worships a bunny? Why even bother with this?"
Lowder said that the nation has seen a systematic rise in the oppression of the Christian faith that he believes will continue.
"But, this is an example of why we need to become activists. The very definition of 'activist' is 'one who becomes active in a process,'" he said. "It's important that we become involved in our community, whether that is through the PTO, school board, City Council or just as a coach of a baseball team. Everyone can get involved in an effort that his or her voice is heard."