5-speed listening (Level 6)

School says Hello Kitty Christmas tree can stay



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Medium (N. American English)



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A maths teacher at a high school in Maine, USA has been allowed to keep her pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree in her classroom. The tree was made from pink plastic and was adorned with Hello Kitty ornaments. The teacher, Catherine Gordon, had earlier been ordered by the school principal Paul Butler to remove it after he decided it was an "inappropriate" Christmas decoration. Mr Butler explained to ABC News that he initially believed the tree did not fit with the way the school celebrated the different religious events happening at this time of the year. He said: "A concern was shared with me regarding an inconsistency with our balanced approach to holiday observances."

Ms Gordon said: "I didn’t think a pink Hello Kitty tree was offensive….It's a tree that's been up in my classroom for years." She posted her story on Facebook and it quickly went viral. She wrote: "The tree had no religious symbols on it whatsoever. No crosses or angels, just pink Hello Kitties and my students really enjoyed it." She added that society was becoming too worried about upsetting different people. She said: "I feel that this is definitely a turning point in our society when everything offends everyone all the time. It just sucks the joy out of everything." She told the local newspaper that: "It just seems that in our quest to be tolerant of everything, we've become intolerant to everything."

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