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School Choir Director Suspended

December 20, 1997

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ A high school choir director was suspended after leading a concert that administrators said contained too many Christian references.

About half of the songs at Tuesday’s concert at Highland High School had Christian themes, and none referred to any other religion.

District guidelines were established in May on the separation of religion from regular school activity, saying ``schools should be religion neutral (neither promoting nor inhibiting religious beliefs) so as to assure comfort to all students.″

Frank Rotolo said he was not told why he was suspended Friday and didn’t know if it was with or without pay. ``Right now, we’re in limbo,″ he said.

School district spokesman Rick Murray said he couldn’t comment on a personnel matter, but said Rotolo was told several weeks earlier that school officials were concerned about the concert’s content.

Rotolo said he had made several changes to the 90-minute program, including changing the title from ``A Christmas Concert″ to ``A Winter Concert.″

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