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School official: Remove 'Christmas' from tree lighting flier

Christmas tree
Posted at 2:35 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 14:35:00-05

MARLBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) — An American Legion post commander in New Hampshire says he's offended that a new school superintendent asked him to replace "Christmas" with "holiday" on fliers advertising a tree-lighting ceremony.

John Fletcher, a barber in Marlborough, says he has distributed similar fliers to the local school district for years.

Superintendent Robert Malay says in a statement to The Associated Press that public school districts are constitutionally barred from aiding, promoting or endorsing a religious activity.

Fletcher says he got a phone call from the superintendent's office shortly after Veterans Day. He said it made him think about how some veterans paid the ultimate price for defending the freedom of speech.

Fletcher's wife whited-out "Christmas" on 250 fliers distributed to schools in two towns — but didn't add the word "holiday."