ASHLAND - A southern Oregon elementary school principal's decision to remove a holiday "giving tree" after a family's complaint has created an uproar. Now school district officials have decided to replace the original tree with a holiday display including three trees, snow and gifts for needy children.
Ashland School District Superintendent Juli Di Chiro conceded Wednesday the compromise won't make everyone happy. But she hopes it will help. Hundreds of e-mails arrived in the wake of the tree's removal from Bellview Elementary School.
Internet commentary has been heated and the tree became a popular talk radio topic. Di Chiro says, "We have gotten very inappropriate and vitriolic e-mails."
The original tree, decorated with wish lists from needy children, was removed over Thanksgiving break after parents of a student complained it symbolized a Christian holiday. The decision to create the trees-snow-gifts combo came after a community meeting Tuesday night.