Maine high school teacher told to remove pink Christmas tree with Hello Kitty ornaments from classroom

Bangor High School math teacher Catherine Gordon has been decorating her classroom for the holiday season for the past 30 years, but this year she was told there had been a change in policy regarding holiday decorations.

    2015/12/23

NSFW    BANGOR, MAINE — A Maine high school teacher was told to remove a pink Christmas tree with Hello Kitty ornaments from her classroom last Friday.

The controversy began after Bangor High School math teacher Catherine Gordon put up the 32-inch-tall artificial Christmas tree with no religious ornaments in her classroom last Wednesday. She was told to remove the tree in an email from the school's principal last Friday, which informed her that there had been a change in policy regarding holiday decorations.

"It had no religious symbols on it, no crosses, no angels, no stars, just pink Hello Kittys," Gordon told the Bangor Daily News, adding that no one had complained before in her 30 years of decorating for the holidays at the school.

"Since my tree has been up for years and years, I thought it was fine to put up a tree up for the 30th year," she said. "The email said that he thought it favored one religion over another and he thought it was inappropriate."

Gordon was unhappy about the school's decision and posted the story on Facebook, which then went viral.

On Tuesday, the school reversed its decision. In his announcement that the school had changed its mind, the principal said the pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree "ultimately highlights the universal nature of holiday celebration."
Bangor High School math teacher Catherine Gordon was asked to remove a pink Christmas tree with Hello Kitty ornaments from her classroom. BANGOR DAILY NEWS
Bangor High School math teacher Catherine Gordon was asked to remove a pink Christmas tree with Hello Kitty ornaments from her classroom. BANGOR DAILY NEWS
A close-up of the Hello Kitty ornaments on the tree. CATHERINE GORDON
A close-up of the Hello Kitty ornaments on the tree. CATHERINE GORDON
After an outcry was raised on social media, the school reversed its decision. CATHERINE GORDON
After an outcry was raised on social media, the school reversed its decision. CATHERINE GORDON
Gordon has taught math at Bangor High School for 30 years. FACEBOOK / CATHERINE GORDON
Gordon has taught math at Bangor High School for 30 years. FACEBOOK / CATHERINE GORDON
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