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Schoolchildren's 'Lotto Tree' Removed From Oklahoma Capitol

Oklahoma LotteryOklahoma Lottery: Schoolchildren's 'Lotto Tree' Removed From Oklahoma Capitol

A Christmas tree decorated with used lottery tickets by elementary school students has been removed from Oklahoma's Capitol after complaints by a lawmaker.

Each Christmas, Gov. Brad Henry asks Oklahoma schools to decorate a tree. That tree is put on display in the Capitol, and the governor picks one as his favorite.

Westwood Elementary's tree came dressed for the season, complete with snowmen, stars and Santa Claus. But it didn't deliver Christmas joy to everyone, reported KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.

Students at the Oklahoma City school added state lottery tickets as ornaments. Teachers went to various convenience stores and got used lottery tickets, which were cut out into various holiday-centric shapes.

One state representative took offense.

"I certainly think it inappropriately twists the meaning and the spirit of Christmas," said Rep. Randy Terrill, a lottery opponent.

According to Oklahoma City Public Schools spokeswoman Sherry Fair, the "lotto tree," as it's being called, was the result of classroom discussion about the lottery and its impact on education.

"They had been learning about the lottery and how it was going to benefit education," Fair said.

"The children didn't mean to offend anyone," she said. "They just wanted to have some fun decorating a tree that they thought people would enjoy looking at as they looked at trees in the Capitol."

What causes Terrill concern is the message that a Christmas tree decorated with lottery tickets gives kids. He shared his concerns with Westwood's principal, who then asked the governor to take down the tree.

Fair said they decided to remove the tree "because our principal was concerned that our children and our name were just in the middle of some controversy that we didn't want to be in the middle of during the holiday season."

Terrill said that removing references to gambling games from the Capitol's most traveled floor was the right thing to do.

However, the representative was quick to note that neither students nor teachers were to blame.

"The blame for this clearly rests with the governor," Terrill said. "The lottery was his idea and, ultimately, he is the one responsible for all that stems from it."

The governor's office confirmed they complied with the Oklahoma City Public School's request but they declined to comment further.

Terrill said he intended to visit Westwood Elementary to teach students the true meaning of Christmas and to explain how children from disadvantaged backgrounds can achieve great things.

KOCO-TV

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12 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by hsvscubaski.
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Sparta, NJ
United States
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July 9, 2005
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Posted: December 7, 2005, 10:07 am - IP Logged

"The blame for this clearly rests with the governor," Terrill said. "The lottery was his idea and, ultimately, he is the one responsible for all that stems from it."

Some one else who didn't get their way in a representative society.

Cheers

|||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    New Jersey
    United States
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    June 28, 2005
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    Posted: December 7, 2005, 10:36 am - IP Logged

    Maybe the Christmas Tree Ornaments, made from losing Lottery Tickets, stand as a reminder that the Oklahoma State Officials have turned their State into a State of Gamblers.

     

      whitmansm2's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
      Right here...can't you see me?
      United States
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      September 10, 2005
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      Posted: December 7, 2005, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

      Terrill said he intended to visit Westwood Elementary to teach students the true meaning of Christmas and to explain how children from disadvantaged backgrounds can achieve great things.

      HA!  He can't even do that!  The true meaning of Christmas is a Christian RELIGIOUS holiday!  Someone is going to b!tch about that too!  This guy can't win!

      LMAO

      No No

      Don't cry over spilled milk.  Go milk another cow!!

      Stephanie

        winsumloosesum's avatar - Lottery-060.jpg
        Pennsylvania
        United States
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        September 1, 2003
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        Posted: December 7, 2005, 4:16 pm - IP Logged

        I don't think the lottery tickets were the reason. If they called it a "Winter Tree" no one would have complained.

        We need to separate church and state. God forbid we call it a Christmas tree.

          Avatar

          United States
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          December 4, 2005
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          Posted: December 8, 2005, 5:33 am - IP Logged

          They could have seen a positive moral to the whole story: "Hey kids, look at all of these losers. That is what happens when you play the Lottery too much...you get to decorate Chritmas trees with the losers... all of your hard earned money ...poof!!!" The whole idea was dumb on the part of the adults whose idea it was anyway.

          I had an experience almost as dumb; I was stopped at a police road block in a small town one day where the cops rewarded all drivers who were wearing seat belts with a Lottery ticket. Sounds cool? When I checked the Lottery ticket at the next red light it was a two week old Pick 6 LOSER! I was pissed...was that some kind of a joke by the cops in that one horse town, distributing useless old lottery tickets to the public? I should have called a newspaper reporter to get the incident in the local papers. It almost sound too dumb to be true.

            Avatar
            Columbia City, Indiana
            United States
            Member #2978
            December 9, 2003
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            Posted: December 8, 2005, 7:17 am - IP Logged

            From the article:

            What causes Terrill concern is the message that a Christmas tree decorated with lottery tickets gives kids. He shared his concerns with Westwood's principal, who then asked the governor to take down the tree.


            Terrill doesn't say what that message is, but is it any more sinister than the message sent by funding the children's education with the same dollars that paid for those losing (oops - I mean "used") tickets?

            Maybe I don't read as well as the rest of you, but it seems to me that the children were only expressing their appreciation for their educational benefactor. In my opinion, this issue is less of a religious molehill than a playground mudpie, but Mr. Terrill has seen fit to make a mountain out of it anyway. All state lotteries promote the idea of giving lottery tickets as stocking stuffers which, unless I'm mistaken, are still Christmas presents. When they see these commercials on television, don't the children receive the identical message from which the noble Mr. Terrill is protecting them?

            The term, "representative" is becoming a misnomer, as they assume and exercise more and more power over the general will and basic rights of their constituents. Mr. Terrill should be made to realize that he's only deceiving himself by pretending the children don't benefit directly from the lottery he opposes, or that they're so obtuse that they don't know who funds their schooling. 

            Merry Christmas, kids!   

            Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...

            Jim

              Avatar
              Sparta, NJ
              United States
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              July 9, 2005
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              Posted: December 8, 2005, 3:34 pm - IP Logged

              From the article:

              What causes Terrill concern is the message that a Christmas tree decorated with lottery tickets gives kids. He shared his concerns with Westwood's principal, who then asked the governor to take down the tree.


              Terrill doesn't say what that message is, but is it any more sinister than the message sent by funding the children's education with the same dollars that paid for those losing (oops - I mean "used") tickets?

              Maybe I don't read as well as the rest of you, but it seems to me that the children were only expressing their appreciation for their educational benefactor. In my opinion, this issue is less of a religious molehill than a playground mudpie, but Mr. Terrill has seen fit to make a mountain out of it anyway. All state lotteries promote the idea of giving lottery tickets as stocking stuffers which, unless I'm mistaken, are still Christmas presents. When they see these commercials on television, don't the children receive the identical message from which the noble Mr. Terrill is protecting them?

              The term, "representative" is becoming a misnomer, as they assume and exercise more and more power over the general will and basic rights of their constituents. Mr. Terrill should be made to realize that he's only deceiving himself by pretending the children don't benefit directly from the lottery he opposes, or that they're so obtuse that they don't know who funds their schooling. 

              Merry Christmas, kids!   

              I Agree!

              Cheers

              |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

              I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                angelm's avatar - anne
                richmond ky.
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                Posted: December 8, 2005, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

                Hey!At least they were recycling!!Wink

                  BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                  Dump Water Florida
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                  Posted: December 9, 2005, 2:09 am - IP Logged

                  From the article:

                  What causes Terrill concern is the message that a Christmas tree decorated with lottery tickets gives kids. He shared his concerns with Westwood's principal, who then asked the governor to take down the tree.


                  Terrill doesn't say what that message is, but is it any more sinister than the message sent by funding the children's education with the same dollars that paid for those losing (oops - I mean "used") tickets?

                  Maybe I don't read as well as the rest of you, but it seems to me that the children were only expressing their appreciation for their educational benefactor. In my opinion, this issue is less of a religious molehill than a playground mudpie, but Mr. Terrill has seen fit to make a mountain out of it anyway. All state lotteries promote the idea of giving lottery tickets as stocking stuffers which, unless I'm mistaken, are still Christmas presents. When they see these commercials on television, don't the children receive the identical message from which the noble Mr. Terrill is protecting them?

                  The term, "representative" is becoming a misnomer, as they assume and exercise more and more power over the general will and basic rights of their constituents. Mr. Terrill should be made to realize that he's only deceiving himself by pretending the children don't benefit directly from the lottery he opposes, or that they're so obtuse that they don't know who funds their schooling. 

                  Merry Christmas, kids!   

                  I Agree!

                  I Agree!  I agree, it was in poor taste.  The kids should have had the sense to use the special holiday scratch cards for their tree. BobP  Noel

                    sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                    PA
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                    Posted: December 9, 2005, 3:15 am - IP Logged

                    What a moron. So I guess basically they don't want the kids to continue funding the schools through lotteries when they get older? I doubt the kids got any kind of a mesage at all from it. Besides it is the parents responsibility to relay life messages to the kids, not others. Kids cannot look that deep at that age.

                      Avatar
                      Sparta, NJ
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                      Posted: December 9, 2005, 7:33 am - IP Logged

                      You can give some people a trip around the world, and they would want to go some where else. 

                      Cheers

                      |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                      I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                        Avatar
                        Huntsville AL
                        United States
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                        June 1, 2005
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                        Posted: December 9, 2005, 1:28 pm - IP Logged

                        I don't think the lottery tickets were the reason. If they called it a "Winter Tree" no one would have complained.

                        We need to separate church and state. God forbid we call it a Christmas tree.

                        There is no such thing as seperation of church and state!!!!!!!!!!!! The 

                        Constitution say "The Congress shall make NO LAW regarding the establishment of a religion" In fact at one time the official religon of Maryland was Roman Catholic and if it wanted to it could go back to that and not violate the US Constitution.