New York school bans 'Jingle Bells' after allegations that it is culturally insensitive

"This is not a political situation, it was a simple, thoughtful curricular decision,” said school superintendent Kevin McGowan.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

A Brighton, New York school will be banning holiday classic "Jingle Bells" from being taught at its elementary music curriculum, after allegations that the song is culturally insensitive.

The song, they say, may be offensive due to the fact that it was performed at Minstrel shows over 150 years ago. School superintendent Kevin McGowan also wrote in a statement that "a song so closely related to a religious holiday that is not celebrated by everyone in our community was not likely a song that we would have wanted as part of the school curriculum in the first place."

A letter by McGowan states that the move was a "thoughtful shift made by thoughtful staff members who thought they could accomplish their instructional objective using different material."

"This wasn't 'liberalism gone amok' or 'cancel culture at its finest' as some have suggested," he wrote, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

"Nobody has said you shouldn’t sing 'Jingle Bells' or ever in any way suggested that to your children. I can assure you that this situation is not an attempt to push an agenda."

"This is not a political situation, it was a simple, thoughtful curricular decision," he said.

The song, which is among the best-known in the world, was written in the 19th century by New England-born confederate soldier and composer James Lord Pierpont.

The song was first performed on September 15, 1857, at Ordway Hall in Boston by the blackface minstrel performer Johnny Pell.


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