A New York school board has apologized to parents for leaving religious references out of the Christmas song “Silent Night” during a recent performance. Fifth-graders at Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School skipped out on lyrics such as “Christ the Savior is born” and “round yon virgin, mother and child.”
In a video of the performance, the chorus’s version of “Silent Night” combined different verses of the song to avoid some of the spiritual references. The children did include the phrases “heavenly peace” and “heavenly hosts.”
The Kings Park Central School District Board of Education apologized for the omissions and said it too was offended by the version of the song. The teacher involved believed she’d altered the song in “an appropriate way to represent the song without offending those of other faiths,” according to administrators.