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Bill Would Keep Christmas, Hanukkah Education in Ala. Schools

Star of David Hanukkah menorah

Star of David Hanukkah menorah

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama Senate has approved a bill that the sponsor says will keep education about Christmas and Hanukkah in public schools.

The Senate voted 22-7 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa. His bill now goes to the House for consideration.

Allen's bill allows schools to educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations and allows student and staff to exchange traditional greetings.

Christmas and Hanukkah are the only celebrations mentioned in the bill. Democratic Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery tried to add the African-American observance of Kwanza, but his amendment fell two votes short of passing.

Allen says the bill should give clarity to what educators can do. Opponents say it will prompt a legal challenge.

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