Oz school sacks Santa to make non-Christian pupils feel more included

Melbourne, Dec 8 (ANI): A school in Victoria, Australia has banned the celebration of Christmas in its premises so that non-Christian pupils will not feel excluded.

The Victorian kindergarten, Montessori Marvels Preschool in Greenvale, has instead planned to hold a Happy New Year party at end-of-year.

Premier Ted Baillieu has warned Victorians not to let political correctness ruin Christmas with some schools and community groups imposing yuletide bans in recent years.

But the centre is not budging, saying it is abiding by Montessori's philosophy to be inclusive of all religious and cultural groups.

"We are just trying to take an open approach to the holiday season. We run a non-denominational, non-religious program," News.com.au quoted spokeswoman Marlene Guclu, herself a Christian, as saying.

But Guclu said Christmas could still be discussed one on one with children.

"We want all families to feel welcome, of all nationalities," she stated.

Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria chairman Sam Afra said it could be a positive move if they were seeking to include all faiths in celebrating the festive season.

"If they are trying to do the right thing for everyone, we don't want to take that out of context," he said.

"Different people coming around the table now saying maybe we should look at interfaith," he added. (ANI)

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