H.B. 308 – The Merry Christmas Bill
AN ACT relating to a school district’s recognition of and education regarding traditional winter celebrations.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subchapter Z, Chapter 29, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 29.920 to read as follows:
Sec. 29.920. WINTER CELEBRATIONS. (a) A school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including:
(1) “Merry Christmas”;
(2) “Happy Hanukkah”; and
(3) “happy holidays.”
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a school district may display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas image such as a nativity scene or Christmas tree, if the display includes a scene or symbol of:
(1) more than one religion; or
(2) one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.
(c) A display relating to a traditional winter celebration may not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.
SECTION 2. This Act applies beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2013.