No More Thanksgiving?

Up until this year, my daughter’s school held Thanksgiving re-enactments the
Wednesday before Thanksgiving. One class would dress as Indians and another
class would dress as Pilgrims and they would both bring in candy and chips
and snack out a la the original Thanksgiving festival… up until this year.
This year, the school adopted a policy asking their staff to hold “thankful
festivals” instead of “Thanksgiving celebrations”. What’s the difference?
Basically, no more cute Pilgrim or Indian costumes. Why the change? According
to one teacher, they discovered that a few days after the original
Thanksgiving feast, the Indians who had been in attendance came back and
slaughtered the Pilgrims they recently dined with so the school’s policy is
not to glorify such an event – is this true or do I need to stop entrusting
the education and welfare of my daughter to madmen and move to another school

Kevin S.
Naperville, IL

They just don’t teach history the way they should. This would have made Thanksgiving interesting when I was a kid, but sadly, they didn’t mention the slaughter after the holiday.

Maybe they could still have the pageant, and then the Indians could beat the Pilgrims up in the parking lot afterward.

Or do a Thanksgiving on Ice festival, and a hockey could break out afterward.

I’d move out of that district immediately (and maybe burn the school offices where the teacher credentials are stored to save the children you’ve left behind).

New England was the site of several very nasty wars between Europeans and North Americans, but it did not begin “a few days after the original Thanksgiving feast”.

You daughter is being taught by loons.
(There is a huge amount of mythology invested in the “Pigrim’s First Thanksgiving” that we should destroy, but we should not replace it with more stupid stuff.)

*(By the way, if you simply type into the Reply Window without hitting Enter at the end of each line, the software will wrap your text to match each reader’s screen, without having your text bunched up on the left.)

I think it won’t be long before the schools find a way to homogenize and stupify all their students, rendering them unable to do much more than walk, zombie-like, to the chair where the remote control is. We’ve effectively knocked Christmas and Hannukah songs out of the holiday season, Halloween isn’t allowed now because of some pinheads suggesting that it’s a pagan celebration of witches, we now have “snow persons,” and now the brain trust in Naperville wants to modify Thanksgiving, where according to the OP, kids got together and ate as friends, even though they represented different people with different agendas. Nice. We’ve met the enemy and it is us.

Might it be because of the homogenization of our schools? So many students that Thanksgiving means nothing to. If that’s so, it’s sad. Very sad.

I jumped in to answer and didn’t read yours.

Foegive me, I’m old…:slight_smile:

KCSwier, if you have this on authority from school, and not from the kids or some parent grapevine, you could do what we often do here and ask for their “cite”. In other words, ask the teaching brain trust to prove to you that their view of history has some basis in fact, preferrably from multiple, non-related or agenda driven sources. Maybe it will engage their brains. It might be a cheaper solution than moving.
Oh, and welcome to the Boards!

This reminds me of the Thanksgiving play that is performed in the Addams Family movie…


KCSWier writes:

> According to one teacher, they discovered that a few days
> after the original Thanksgiving feast, the Indians who
> had been in attendance came back and slaughtered the
> Pilgrims they recently dined with so the school’s policy
> is not to glorify such an event . . .

The problem here is not the homogenizing of the school, nor bad teaching. The problem is that they’re lying. I’ve checked a history of the Pilgrims, and no mention is made of this. There are a lot of interesting facts about the first Thanksgiving that aren’t usually mentioned, but this isn’t one of them.

I can’t even conceive of why someone would make up such a story. This is not “political correctness” in the usual sense. Someone of that sort might complain about Thanksgiving because it celebrates the Pilgrims taking land from the Indians, but why would they make up a story about something bad the Indians did?

Incidentally, before you raise a public stink about this, go to the principal or superintendent or whoever officially created the policy that Thanksgiving Day was not to be celebrated. Ask them why the policy exists. It’s possible that the teacher who told you this is simply an idiot who made up a story about the decision. (Frequently what seems to be a bad political decision is simply a matter of an idiot misunderstanding something.)

The Pilgrims landed at Plimoth in 1620, getting along swimmingly with the local native tribe, the Wampanoags. Their colony survived (can’t really say it prospered when half of them died in the first winter) until around 1626 or so, when they started to truly settle in and spread out. Still, though, the Colonists in Plymouth got along with the Wampanoags really, really well. Well enough that Massasoit, the head of the Wampanoags, gave his two sons (Wamsutta and Metacom) Christain names (Alexander and Philip, respectively). There is a story of Massasoit becoming ill, and being brought back to health by an elder colonist from Plymouth whose name presently eludes me (I want to say Winslow, but I know thats not right, and I’m not in the mood to look it up right now). Very good times for Anglo-Native American relations.
Shortly after, in 1630, the Puritans settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony (known today as Boston) to the north of Plymouth. Plymouth Colony continued to spread out to the east, towards the modern-day East Providence, RI/Seekonk, MA line. The native tribes (Wampanoags and Narragansetts) weren’t keen on this expansion, but since they got along so well with Plymouth, they weren’t all that upset over it.
In the meantime, Roger Williams got himself booted from Mass. Bay and settled Rhode Island in 1636, and also got along quite well with the Wampanoags. Yet more good feelings between the natives and the colonists.

Problems began to arise in 1660, when Massasoit died. His son Alexander took over as sachem of the Wampanoags. Alexander was brought back to the Plymouth Colony in 1662 and was supposedly murdered there. Not good for relations. Philip was now in charge of the Wampanoags, and had some different ideas as to how the tribe should react to the colonists.

The colonists, now having quite a few good-sized towns on the border, continued to antagonize the Wampanoags over the next few years, including bringing King Philip to trial in Taunton in 1672, requiring him to give up all of the firearms that the Wampanoags had (he didn’t). Now the Wampanoags are very cranky about these pesky colonists.

This aggrivation came to a head on Sunday June 20, 1675 in Swansea, MA (my home town, thankyouverymuch), where gunfire was exchanged between a colonist and a Wampanoag. A few days later, an outright invasion by the Wampanoags burned and pillaged the town, killing and/or kidnapping quite a few residents. The remaining townspeople took shelter inside the Bourne Garrison house, a fortified home in the southeast portion of the town. Troops were sent from Boston, Taunton, Middleboro, and Plymouth to assist in Swansea repelling the Wampanoags, thus beginning King Philip’s War, lasting from 1675 until 1676, and still considered the worst Indian War in American history.

So, you can tell your daughter’s teacher that the hostilities didn’t begin “a few days after” the first feast, it was really 31 years until things got kind of bad. It was 55 years until outright fighting began.

Man, I love being from Massachusetts…