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Michigan's Cherry Knoll Elementary School Under Fire For Removing 'Gay' From 'Deck The Halls'

Holly Berry

First Posted: 12/05/11 04:51 PM ET Updated: 12/06/11 10:49 AM ET

A Michigan music teacher's decision to censor the word "gay" from a traditional Christmas carol is being met with a frosty response.

The teacher, who has not yet been named in any of the published reports, allegedly removed "gay" from "Deck The Halls" after 1st and 2nd grade students kept giggling during preparations for a Christmas concert at Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City. Instead of the traditional lyric, the students were taught to sing "don we now our bright apparel," according to UpNorthLive.com.

The school's Facebook page has since been inundated with reactions from infuriated parents and fellow educators. "By taking the word 'gay' out of 'Deck The Halls' you are making it a big deal, one word can have different meanings," wrote one user. "Your personal opinions should not reflect what you teach other people's children. Please teach the children the classic song the way it was written." Another added: "Essentially, this teacher has now taught the elementary school children, including children as young as five, that gay means homosexual sex."

One user even incorporated a clever parody of the song's 19th century lyrics: "See the crazy school before us/Fa la la la la, la la la la/Prejudice with a thesaurus."

The story caught the eye of famed sex columnist Dan Savage, who noted, "Someone had to straighten out that carol--can't have children donning gay apparel."

As UpNorthLive.com notes, however, Principal Chris Parker has said he is disappointed in the music teacher's decision to change the lyrics to the song, and the students are, in fact, now back to singing the original version.