From FOX25 / MyFoxBoston
A New Hampshire veteran is upset after school officials asked him to remove the word “Christmas” from an annual town tradition.
John Fletcher, the of the American Legion in Marlborough, New Hampshire, wrote an editorial in the local paper after he said the superintendent barred him from promoting the event to students unless he changed the name of the event.
“I was very upset, I really was,” Fletcher said. “If it’s not a school sponsored activity, I don’t understand why ‘Christmas’ had to come out of ‘Christmas Tree’.”
Fletcher, who also raises money to buy gifts for children who attend the event, said a few days after Veterans’ Day, Superintendent Robert Malay called him and said Fletcher needed to “revise” a flyer that would be handed out to students.
“He wanted me to change it to say “holiday tree lighting” instead,” Fletcher told FOX25. “It’s not a holiday tree, it’s a Christmas tree. If you want a holiday tree, then do it for Valentine’s Day, or Columbus Day, or whatever you want.”
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Fletcher and his wife – who play Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at the tree lighting – used WhiteOut to remove the word “Christmas” from the flyer but refused to change the actual wording.
“In this case, this political correctness has just gone too far. it’s just getting out of hand,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher served four years in the Air Force, providing security on runways. His son was stationed in Germany, and his grandson just graduated from the Army Reserve.
Fletcher said his family is dedicated to protecting Americans’ right to free speech, and he should be afforded the same opportunity.
“I respect everybody’s rights, but don’t take our rights away from us,” he said.
Superintendent Malay did not respond to FOX25’s request for comment about the revised flyers.
Fletcher said Sunday’s tree lighting will move forward as planned, and added he will still take joy in playing Santa and giving the children gifts.
“That’s what it’s all about, it’s about the kids,” Fletcher said.