WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 12, 2013, 07:22 PM

Controversy in Fertile, MN over nativity scene being displayed at a public school

Should a nativity scene be on display at a public school? That's the question being asked and the controversy brewing in the small town of Fertile, Minnesota. They did have a nativity scene on display in the school cafeteria, but the superintendent took it down.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

Should a nativity scene be on display at a public school? That's the question being asked and the controversy brewing in the small town of Fertile, Minnesota. They did have a nativity scene on display in the school cafeteria, but the superintendent took it down.

The nativity was set up in the cafeteria by the school's head cook Jodi Petry. We spoke with Petry about what happened. She says quote "I am a Christian. It's about Christmas."

It's the talk of the town in Fertile - population 835. The school superintendent Brian Clarke says a faculty member approached him about the nativity scene displayed in the cafeteria. Clarke decided to take it down on Monday. The school board reviewed Clarke's decision on Tuesday.

In a 4 to 3 vote, the board directed the superintendent to allow religious symbols as part of holiday décor as long as it is accompanied by other holiday décor. So the nativity scene was put back up.

The school is directly across the street from Concordia Lutheran Church, and the students, grade K through 12, pass by this outdoor nativity scene everyday. But does a nativity scene belong inside the public school? We talked with a number of people in Fertile who say yes.

WDAZ called all seven school board members repeatedly - some did not return our calls, others declined comment. The school's head cook and the superintendent declined an on-camera interview, but both said the issue is now resolved.

Tags: