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Published On: Fri, Dec 30th, 2016

Durham Children’s Developmental Services Agency ends ban on employees’ Christmas decorations, celebration

As a result of Liberty Counsel’s intervention, the management of the Durham Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA), has now rescinded the directive which prohibited employees from displaying any Christmas or holiday decorations deemed “religious” in their offices.
Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the government officials on December 20, 2016, followed by a press release yesterday. Last night, Durham CDSA employees received an email notifying them: “It has come to our attention that the guidelines previously sent out regarding holiday decorations and celebrations have caused confusion in the interpretation of those guidelines as well as concern about one’s freedom to enjoy the holidays. This was not the intent, as we wanted to be culturally sensitive and inclusive to all. However, we have decided to retract the previous guidelines given these concerns.

photo Alyson Jones

The CDSA management had previously issued an email to employees on November 30, 2016, which promoted hostility toward religion and the preference for things secular or non-religious. CDSA employees were also told “holiday parties are fine but decorations and activities should not be reflective of a specific holiday or religion.”

“We applaud the management of the Durham Children’s Developmental Services Agency for rescinding this unconstitutional directive,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Government employees cannot be censored from displaying decorations that contain religious viewpoints of a recognized state and federal holiday called ‘Christmas.’ Liberty Counsel will provide pro bono defense for any employee who is threatened with such a directive,” said Staver.

photo/ Brandon Jones

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