Parents at a Long Island, New York elementary school were outraged after a fifth-grade choir purposefully left out lyrics with a religious undertone in the classic song "Silent Night."
The chorus chose to omit the lines "round yon virgin, mother and child," and "Christ the Savior is born," according to a website run close to the school, the Kings Park Patch.
The superintendent of the school, Susan Aruso, and the Intermediate school principal, Rudy Massimo, said the chorus director pulled the most religious lyrics out of the song because "(he) thought it was an appropriate way to represent the song without offending those of other faiths."
"The non-religious words were cobbled together to create something resembling the song and something that would probably pass public scrutiny regarding the separation of church and state," McDonald said. "It should have been off limits."
Though everyone involved in the debacle claims no disrespect was meant, parents are still angered by the incident.
"I apologize for that, it’s the last thing anybody intended. Going forward, it’s not going to happen again. They will be more cautious and cognizant of this particular issue when they select a song," Agruso said. "They meant nothing wrong. Clearly we could have done something different, and in the future we will."
The school board is reviewing the incident.
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