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Mansfield School Cancels Holiday Concert After Parent Complaints

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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MANSFIELD (CBS) – A holiday tradition in Mansfield has come to an end. School leaders at Jordan/Jackson elementary have chosen not to have the regular winter concert, at least as it has been done in recent years.

Typically, the show features the school’s 4th and 5th graders classes singing traditional holiday tunes that celebrated the winter season, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

But the school’s principal told the local paper that after last year’s show, several moms and dads complained about the religious content of the program. So the school made the call to replace the holiday tunes with a Martin Luther King, Jr.-themed performance next month.

Mansfield resident Tony Sacchetti says he and his family have attended the winter concerts at Jordan/Jackson elementary in past years, and always found it to be “really cute and fun.”

“It’s unfortunate” to see it end, Sacchetti explains. “That’s a fun tradition that they do here.”

The decision to change the shows was made at the school level, and the chairman of Mansfield’s School Committee says that group was not informed of the new plan until last week.

“We were disappointed [but] we understood,” says Chairman Michael Trowbridge. “But like I said we hope that they’ll bring it back in some fashion.”

Trowbridge says the new concert fits nicely with the school’s updated plan to integrate historical and academic elements into the show.

While almost all of the parents picking up their children from school today said they were unhappy with the loss of the winter concert, Trowbridge acknowledges other moms and dads embrace the change.

“We had a few complaints [after last year’s show],” he explains. “Some people felt that it was time to change things.”

WBZ reached out the school’s principal but her assistant informed us she was dealing with an emergency meeting and could not return our calls.

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