- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An eastern Kentucky school has cut Bible passages referenced in an upcoming performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/228Ja20) reports when students perform the play Thursday at W.R. Castle Elementary School in Johnson County, the scene in which the character Linus quotes from the Bible is set to be deleted.

Principal Jeff Cochran said all Biblical references were removed from the play after receiving a message Friday from Superintendent Thomas Salyer.

Salyer told the newspaper Tuesday that Christmas programs across the district were being reviewed for possible modifications of religious references after receiving a complaint.

He said “for confidentiality reasons” he would not discuss specifics of the complaint the district received from someone opposed to religious references in the district’s Christmas programs.

Protesters upset about the decision gathered outside the school board’s office this week.

“Given that courts have consistently held that schools may organize and sponsor Christmas programs and performances that include religious songs and study the historical origins of Christmas, there is no basis for the District’s decision to censor the religious aspects of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’” Matt Sharp, an attorney with Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a letter to the district Tuesday.

An ACLU Kentucky spokeswoman said Tuesday that school officials were making an appropriate decision.

Salyer says he made his decision based upon the advice of his attorney and state officials.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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