"Merry Christmas" bill signed by Gov. Perry - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

"Merry Christmas" bill signed by Gov. Perry

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TYLER (KYTX) - It's called the "Merry Christmas" bill, and Governor Perry says it stands up for religious freedom in our state.

House Bill 308 allows for freedom of religion at Texas schools.

That includes the open use of greetings like Merry Christmas or holiday symbols, and it doesn't just apply to Christmas.

It's not exactly illegal to do those things now but this protects those privileges.

As soon as Gov. Perry put the pen to paper, supporters were chiming in on the "Merry Christmas" bill.

"We're excited now, we can go into schools and the teachers and administrators aren't going to worry about anything," says one supporter dressed as Santa.

And these Santa's aren't the only ones cheery to see the legislation that allows for holiday greetings like "Merry Christmas" and certain symbols to be used in public schools like Christmas trees.

"One of my schools had one before," says Jeanie Kim.

Jeanie's mom, Janeth Kim, says she likes the idea.

"The holidays come around and everybody just saying 'happy holidays.' Cause people is afraid to hurt everybody's feelings, or say something wrong," says Kim.

"Our leaders owe it to people of all religions, faiths, all people who want to project their expressions of faith," says Gov. Perry.

Expressions of faith in a public setting.

"I think it would take a lot of pressure off the teachers," says Maggie Legnion, a teacher.

She says many times students start the conversation about religion.

"To have that freedom, to feel relaxed about it, we don't have to press our beliefs on the students," says Legnion.

Questions, and now open talk in the classroom.

"The more we learn about each other, the better we are as individuals in society," says Legnion.

Leaves Kim hoping for better understanding overall.

"I'll be happy if she can learn about other things," says Kim.

We did contact the Freedom From Religion Foundation, they say they legislation isn't any different from what's been outlined in the past.

However, they don't understand the point of it, unless it promotes one religion over another.

Senator Robert Nichols of Jacksonville sponsored the bill.

The bill quickly passed through the both chambers before reaching Perry's desk today.

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