KINGS PARK - A Christmas carol controversy has erupted in a Kings Park school after the decision to remove all religious references in a performance of "Silent Night."

Parents in Kings Park are outraged that their fifth-graders were forced to sing "Silent Night" without lines such as "holy infant" and "Christ the savior” in a school performance last week.

Officials thought the religious references would offend non-Christians. However, many parents were angry with the changes.

The school district issued a statement saying it apologizes to the community members who were offended by the change of lyrics.

The district also said the decision was not approved by the Board of Education or district administration, nor is it its role to approve the songs chosen for the schools’ concerts.