AUSTIN, TX – Today, Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 308—the “Merry Christmas Bill”—into law. The bill, authored by State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), protects the right of teachers and students to celebrate traditional winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah in public schools without fear of litigation or punishment.
“I am proud to have authored the 'Merry Christmas Bill' which allows students, parents, teachers and administrators the freedom to acknowledge traditional winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah in Texas public schools without fear of litigation or punishment. Teachers and ISD's have enough on their plate, and worrying about openly celebrating a Federal holiday and getting sued or reprimanded should not be one of them,” said Rep. Bohac. “When I picked up my 6-year-old first grader from school and found out school districts and teachers felt pressured by political correctness to change the way they referred to ‘Christmas trees’ and Santa and holiday music, I had enough. HB 308 protects schools and teachers from ridiculous litigation and restores common sense by placing Supreme Court precedent into Texas Law.”
Since it was introduced, the “Merry Christmas Bill” has gained state and national attention and was profiled on FOX & Friends, the O’Reilly Factor and Huckabee, among others. Bohac also launched an online petition at www.MerryChristmasBill.com during the beginning of the legislative session that received thousands of signatures in support of the bill. Since passing the House and Senate in May with overwhelming bipartisan support, Bohac’s office has received hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and letters from teachers, administrators, and parents thanking him for authoring the bill. Those also included supporters from outside the state of Texas who hope their local legislators will take note and pass similar legislation in their own state.
“Thanks to overwhelming support from my colleagues in the Texas Legislature, Governor Perry and the people of Texas, the Merry Christmas Bill is now the law of the land in the Lone Star State,” added Bohac. “I encourage our friends in our neighboring 49 states to take a look at what we’ve done with the Merry Christmas Bill here in Texas, and challenge them to join us in passing similar legislation to protect our freedom and sacred American traditions.”