MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield parent is concerned after he was told students would not be singing any Christmas songs with the word “Jesus” in them at upcoming concerts.
David Allen said he found out about the situation last week from his child who attends Robious Middle School.
"It just seems like... everywhere you look everyone's afraid of stepping on someone's toes or everything is being so sensitive," Allen said.
This is not the first time his child has taken part in the winter concert; but it’s the first time something like this has happened.
"They were unable to [sing this song] because the word Jesus was in there and apparently someone assumed it was of a sacred nature," Allen said.
Following his conversation with his child, Allen emailed the chorus teacher
He provided NBC12 with a copy of the email exchange where the teacher responded to Allen’s concerns writing in part, “We had a few students who weren't comfortable singing a piece I have done many times in the past, but it is of a sacred nature and does mention Jesus."
"At the same time that I had gotten this information I had got a diversity notice from Robious Middle School regarding a club they have or a meeting," Allen said.
According to the teacher's email, after speaking with school administrators it was decided they would avoid singing anything of a direct sacred nature in order to be more sensitive to the increasing diverse population at the school.
However, Allen said that statement confuses him.
"I'm trying to rationalize how you can encourage diversity and yet be exclusionary in one specific area," he said.
Allen admits he doesn’t know which Christmas song referencing Jesus was excluded, given the number of songs that mention him.
The Robious Middle parent adds he has nothing against the teacher or the school, but is hoping to have more of a conversation with them about opening the student's minds.
"They all can get a feel of each individual religion, ethnicity and nationality have to offer,” Allen said. “It's a school, it's a learning educational experience… I wouldn’t object to my children singing a Hindu songs during their celebratory period of time."
Tuesday afternoon Chesterfield County Schools spokesman Shawn Smith said he reached out to administrators at Robious Middle School for more information about this concern, but has yet to hear back.