Today, we provide a summary of our December survey. First, I want to thank all those who provided useful and thoughtful responses.
Let’s review the survey topic and the offered responses:
I think that December school concerts:
- should not be held: scheduling concerts for another time is the only way to avoid controversy over including or not including religious material.
- should only include secular music and references
- should include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and secular winter music, all of which are important parts of our culture
- shouldn’t be considered a problem if music from multiple religious traditions and secular music are performed, avoiding preference for any stance.
- should include material that is chosen by its quality and developmental appropriateness, regardless of religious references: i.e., religious music should neither be preferred nor avoided.
- Other (please specify)
473 people responded to the survey question. Nine votes in the Other category were excluded for irrelevance or obscenity, so 464 votes were counted. Many of the votes in the other category could be classified in the categories offered, but made extended comments.
The category with the most votes—just over a third, is the one that recommends choosing solely on the criteria of music quality and appropriateness. In second place, with just under 30 percent of the vote, is the category saying that music should be chosen to represent Christian, Jewish, Kwanzaa, and secular traditions. Third place went to a more general support of multiple traditions, without specification. And fourth place comes from a large subset of the Other responses that want either mostly or entirely Christmas music to be performed at the December school concert. This group included many references to the Bible-based heritage of our country, and some decried the political correctness of working to recognize a broader range of traditions. A few respondents that promoted Christian-based concerts also manifested intolerance: in addition to answering the survey question, they chose to attack other traditions in their answer and/or insult people who don’t think as they do.
A small group of Other respondents also suggested that because of the amount of time and the plethora of other commitments in December, it is not an appropriate time to hold a concert.
The charts below provide a complete breakdown of the responses in percentages, a bar graph, and a pie chart.