Clevelanders Respond to Christmas Carol Controversy

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CLEVELAND-A traditional Christmas carol is creating controversy at one elementary school.

Now, a gay advocacy group is sounding off about the teacher's decision to remove a word that's been sung for years!

"Deck the Halls" is a popular Christmas carol that's been around for more than a century.

Recently, a music teacher at Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Michigan decided to take the word "gay" out of the lyrics.

Principal Chris Parker said, "There were some students that had been snickering at the lyrics of 'Deck the Halls' and she had attempted to get them back on track quite a few times and just decided to make a change in the wording."

The teacher gave the students a sheet of music with a verse that read, "Don we now our bright apparel."

By removing a word that once meant happy or joyful, some parents became outraged.

The principal said when he found out, he immediately talked with the teacher.

Clevelanders we talked to had mixed reaction.

"I think they should have left it the same, because it was the way the song was written. I think there's some value in explaining to young children what that word means," said one man.

"I think she should have explained it to them first instead of just having them sing it," said another Clevelander.

One woman said, "The way society is right now, I think she handled it the right way, I really do."

"The word 'gay' is not a bad word, using it in this context in a different meaning is valid. This is a traditional song," said Judith Pindell with the Ohio Advocacy Youth Leadership Council. "Teachers and administrators certainly missed a teachable moment to talk about gay individuals. By allowing the reactions of the students to dictate whether or not to use this word, I think is inappropriate."

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