Maplewood parent locked in Christmas music court struggle with school

(12/27/04) MAPLEWOOD One Maplewood parent is taking the South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education to court over its policy on sacred music.

The school board will not allow certain types of religious Christmas music to be played by school music groups during the holiday season. According to board members, the policy is in effect due to the religiously and ethnically diverse makeup of the student body. The ban was expanded this year to include instrumental music as well.

Michael Stratechuk is now battling education officials through the legal system over their stance on Christmas music. He has filed a lawsuit against the district in an effort to get the ban overturned. Stratechuk, who is also a music teacher, says sacred music is an important part of music education for students.

Even though the holidays are over, the lawsuit is still moving forward. It will proceed through the legal system unless an agreement can be reached before the 2005 holiday season.

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