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Santa Approves: House OK’s ‘Merry Christmas’ Bill

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File photo of a Santa Claus ornament on a Christmas tree. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Santa Claus ornament on a Christmas tree. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — On the brink of summer, defending Christmas is on the wish list of the Texas Legislature.

The House on Wednesday approved a bipartisan bill that aims to remove legal risks of saying “Merry Christmas” in Texas public schools. Traditional holiday symbols, such as a menorah or nativity scene, would also win a nod of state support so long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are also reflected.

State Rep. Dwayne Bohac says the bill aims to protect schools from “ridiculous” lawsuits. Says the Houston Republican: “Teachers are fearful of calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree.”

Coincidentally, several Santa Claus impersonators were in the House gallery when the bill came up. They rang sleigh bills upon passage.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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