An elementary school in New York is banning the popular holiday classic "Jingle Bells" due to a discovery that the song was possibly first sung in a minstrel show with performers wearing blackface.
Council Rock Primary School in Brighton decided to exclude the festive song due to the possible blackface connection, the Rochester Beacon reports.
School principal Matt Tappon confirmed that "Jingle Bells" and several other songs have been replaced with different songs that don't have the "potential to be controversial or offensive," according to the Rochester Beacon.
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The school reached the decision using research from 2017 by Boston University professor Kyna Hamill, who discovered that the song's first public performance may have been in a minstrel show involving blackface performers 150 years ago.
The district assistant superintendent for Brighton also said that bells worn by slaves may have had an influence in writing the song.
Some members of the community have expressed that removing the song goes too far.
"You hear 'Jingle Bells,' and it's just the spirit of Christmas time," says Mary Santiago from Rochester. "Christmas without 'Jingle Bells' isn't Christmas. I feel it's ridiculous."
Others feel that the school's actions were appropriate.
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"It is taking away a Christmas tradition. That's a tradition, like so many traditions, that we need to lose if it's tied to slavery or racism. It's just that simple," said Ruth Ferguson, whose children once attended the school.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Council Rock Primary School for comment but did not receive a reply.