Drama over a Massachusetts Christmas tree display has taken another turn following local and national furor over the holiday spruce’s purported banishment from a library.
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Just days after Lisa Desmond, branch supervisor at Dedham Library’s Endicott Branch in Dedham, said she was informed the annual Christmas tree wouldn’t be on display in her library, the head of the branch has put out a statement saying otherwise.
“To be clear, there is no ban on Christmas at the Dedham library,” Amber Moroney, director of the library, said in a statement. “The initial decision to not display a Christmas tree was the result of an ongoing review of all our holiday decorations and displays that started back in the spring.”
Desmond had publicly said she was told the tree was removed because it made some people “uncomfortable” last year.
“I was told that, when people, I use the word people, walked in that room, it made them uncomfortable,” she told WBZ Radio before the newfound reversal.
As CBN’s Faithwire previously reported, the Christmas tree debacle made headlines after Desmond posted a complaint on Facebook earlier this month, noting she has never been “negative” on the platform but felt the need to speak out.
“I found out today that my beautiful library will not have it’s [sic] Christmas tree this year. Zero explanation,” she wrote. “When I asked, I was told ‘people’ were made uncomfortable last year looking at it. I’m sorry, WHAT?”
Desmond’s Facebook post ignited local controversy and quickly became a national story. Moroney addressed the contentious nature of the chaos in her statement.
“What has played out on social media is unfortunate; it has negatively impacted our staff and the community, and frankly, transpired before we had even started our seasonal decorating,” she wrote. “As we finish decorating for this holiday season, Christmas trees will be put up at both locations.”
Moroney said the library will “continue to review decorations and displays to ensure they are welcome, enriching, and reflective” of the entire community.
More communication was also pledged to help bridge the divides created by and within the controversy.
The debate over the tree became so contentious on social media it purportedly led to “threats and bullying,” and one LGBT activist even purportedly stepped down from a position with a human rights group after spouting profanity laced messages, according to The Christian Post.
After being at the center of the controversy for simply stating her opposition to the Christmas tree removal, Desmond posted a follow-up Facebook message expressing her shock over the events.
“What a week it has been,” she wrote before recounting what unfolded and pushing back against her critics who made the issue about more than the tree. “My message was about Christmas trees.”
The library board of trustees is reportedly set to meet Tuesday evening, and the community will be invited to discuss the issue.
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