Maine teacher forced to say goodbye to pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree in classroom

Catherine Gordon and her classroom’s pink Christmas tree.
Catherine Gordon and her classroom’s pink Christmas tree. –Screenshot from the Bangor Daily News

Update (7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22): Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler reversed his decision in a Tuesday statement, saying the tree “ultimately highlights the universal nature of holiday celebration’’ and, therefore, it can stay in math teacher Catherine Gordon’s classroom.

Read more.

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A Maine high school teacher was told in an email from the building principal to remove her pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree from her classroom—and she’s not happy about it, according to her recent Facebook post.

“I feel that this is defintely a turning point in our society—when everything offends everyone all the time—it just sucks the joy out of everything,’’ Catherine Gordon, a math teacher at Bangor High School, posted Friday night.

I am very sad… After 30 years of decorating my classroom for the holidays, I was told today by the building principal...

Posted by Catherine Gordon on Friday, December 18, 2015
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Gordon said she has decorated her classroom for the holidays for 30 years, with a tree as part of those decorations almost every year, according to WLBZ-TV.

“It just seems that in our quest to be tolerant of everything, we’ve become intolerant to everything,’’ an emotional Gordon said in a Bangor Daily News video.

Maine Congressman Bruce Poliquin, who represents Bangor, also weighed in on the removal of the Christmas tree on Facebook, saying that the display “should not be condemned, especially in our classrooms.’’

Displaying a Christmas Tree is a longstanding tradition in our country. It should not be condemned, especially in our...

Posted by Congressman Bruce Poliquin on Monday, December 21, 2015

In an official statement, Poliquin urged school officials to reconsider their decision.

“Our local school teachers and parents should have the ultimate say in how to run their classrooms so long as it does not pose any danger to students or the community,’’ he said. “I find the School Department’s decision baseless and completely counter to all that our Nation stands for.’’

Bangor School Superintendent Betsy Webb told WLBZ-TV in a statement that the school department aims to maintain consistency with its approach to educate students to become global citizens.

“In alignment with national and state standards, the Bangor School Department educates students about culture, traditions, and holidays through curriculum ties,’’ Webb said.

Watch Gordon’s interview with Bangor Daily News below:

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