A school principal has been placed on administrative leave after she banned candy canes because the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus.

Jennifer Sinclair sent a memo to teachers at Manchester Elementary School in  Nebraska, last week with instructions about decorations in their classrooms.

Ms Sinclair wrote that generic winter decorations of snowflakes, polar bears, snowmen and penguins were acceptable as well as Olaf from the movie Frozen.

Christmas-themed decorations were banned so as not to offend anyone who doesn’t celebrate the holiday.

These included Santa, Christmas trees, Elf on the Shelf, reindeer, any red and green items and candy canes.

‘Historically, the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus,’ she wrote in the missive, according to KETV.

‘This assumes that the family has a Christmas tree which assumes they celebrate Christmas. I challenge the thought of, ‘Well they can just hang it somewhere else’,’ she wrote.

‘We are not to be doing any Christmas or holiday-specific themed activities with students,’ Ms Sinclair also added.

‘We have varied religious beliefs in our school, and it is our job to be inclusive.’

She also wrote: ‘Please reflect on what you’ve already copied, prepped and posted,’ she wrote.

‘I’m hopeful we can avoid the discomfort of me directly questioning something you’ve copied, posted and had your kids do.

‘That makes me uncomfortable, and I know it doesn’t feel good. Signed, The (Unintentional) Grinch who stole Christmas (from Manchester).’

Christian organization Liberty Counsel got a hold of the memo and sent a letter to Elkhorn Public Schools District demanding the ban be lifted.

Officials said the memo doesn’t reflect the district’s policy on holiday symbols in schools.

A district spokesman said Sinclair was placed on leave on Thursday morning.

Ms Sinclair, who is a new principal, didn’t consult with administrators about the policy about handling religious holiday themes, the spokesman told KETV.

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  • Amazing what happens when you try to be all things to all people.


  • Does that mean she doesn’t think people should use walking canes? After all, turn them upside down and they look like the letter J as well. And why do we have to stop celebrating Christmas. If you go to another country do they stop their celebrations because we don’t believe in them? This is Australia after all.


  • Seriously? The world is going mad. It is just a candy cane to me and I’ve never seen it as anything else. And yes, celebrate all occasions. Christmas is Christmas for the majority of us but we are becoming the minority.


  • That is totally and utterly ridiculous!


  • Oh I didn’t realise it was a J for Jesus in particular.


  • Rather than banning one religion, why not just celebrate everything that everyone celebrates this time of year?


  • I think it’s mad what she’s done Christmas is a religious celebration celebrating the birth of christ a d the candy cane story I have never heard of


  • Wow, this is just silly to me and she has totally gone overboard by banning them


  • Oh my goodness, that too much ! Good that she is placed on leave.


  • I always associated the candy cane with a walking cane it never occurred to me to turn it the other way to make a j

    • A candy cane represents a shepherd’s staff and the origins go back to Germany. They were given out to children to keep them quiet during nativity plays. The ‘j’ representing Jesus is a myth and there is no documentation to support the claim. So maybe just enjoy those candy canes and not worry too much about the representation. They provide joy! :)


  • It’s disappointing that people often feel the need to do things like this when they start a new position.


  • What nonsense!


  • And this is a top priority for the leader of a school?! I am dumbfounded!


  • Absolutely ridiculous in my opinion!


  • Talk about going overboard. The problem with this is it offends more people than not.


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