English elementary school charges parents for Christian nativity play

Baby Jesus statues stolen from church Nativity scenes in New Jersey.
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Baby Jesus statues stolen from church Nativity scenes in New Jersey.

An ungodly row has blown up in England over whether an elementary school should charge parents to watch their sons and daughters perform a Christian play depicting the birth of Jesus.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Worcester said it is charging a £1 fee because of "tightening budgets and growing numbers".

In a letter to parents written Friday, Head Teacher Louise Bury wrote that there had been "mixed feelings" over the charge but the money would go towards reading and learning resources.

Bury also said she understood the concerns: "I know that for some of you, paying to see your child perform doesn't feel right."

But the head teacher also said she was concerned about some of the reaction from parents.

"I have been extremely concerned about the conduct of some parents towards my staff which in some cases I can only describe as verbal abuse," she said in the letter.

Social media reaction

The decision to charge for the Christmas performances upset at least one parent who reported it to a local newspaper.

Since then reaction on social media has been mixed.

Andrew Charles wrote on Twitter that if the school is a faith based organization, charging to watch a religious play seems strange.

While Warren Kingston suggests it is perhaps the kids who should be getting the money.

While on BBC Hereford's Facebook page, many parents supported the stance of the school.

Simon Ryland wrote: "I'm the father of 1 child that is taking part in the nativity and I am happy to help the school as they provide such a great place to learn for my daughter she has come on leaps and bounds because (of) the great teachers at the school."

And Julie Lawrence agreed: "I'm not seeing the problem here! The pupils enjoy doing a play for their parents/family etc and the school makes some money to then benefit those children! Where's the problem."