Teacher’s Christ­mas les­son up­sets chil­dren, angers par­ents

Weekend Herald - - World -

It’s the sea­son when chil­dren around the world pre­pare for Santa’s ar­rival. But in Montville, New Jer­sey, a teacher de­cided it was her job to tell a class of 6-year-olds the man in red isn’t real.

The sub­sti­tute teacher, who also told the chil­dren at the Cedar Hill El­e­men­tary School that the easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy don’t ex­ist, is no longer work­ing for the dis­trict.

Par­ents said their chil­dren had to be con­soled after the in­ci­dent, which was sparked when one pupil as­serted Santa Claus was real. The child’s state­ment is thought to have prompted an out­burst from the teacher.

Myra San­sone-Aboy­oun, a mother of one child in the class, said she had to com­fort her 6-year-old daugh­ter after she told her what had hap­pened at school that day.

“She pro­ceeded to de­bunk all of it,” Rene Rov­tar, Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools in Montville, told NJ.com about the in­ci­dent that out­raged par­ents last week and put her dis­trict in the na­tional spot­light.

In a let­ter to par­ents, who flooded on­line fo­rums to share their chil­dren’s duress, Cedar Hill School Prin­ci­pal Michael J. Raj wrote that he had spo­ken with the uniden­ti­fied teacher “re­gard­ing her poor judg­ment in mak­ing this procla­ma­tion”. “As a fa­ther of four my­self, I am truly aware of the sen­si­tive na­ture of this an­nounce­ment,” Raj said in the let­ter, which was shared with the Wash­ing­ton Post. The prin­ci­pal had writ­ten to par­ents so they would be “aware of the sit­u­a­tion” and able to “take ap­pro­pri­ate steps to main­tain the child­hood in­no­cence of the hol­i­day sea­son” at home.

In a state­ment, Rov­tar added: “The child­hood won­der as­so­ci­ated with all hol­i­days and tra­di­tions is some­thing I per­son­ally hold near and dear in my own heart.” Rov­tar told the Post that after the “Santa Mat­ter”, the sub­sti­tute no longer works for the dis­trict. Cit­ing it as a “per­son­nel mat­ter”, Rov­tar de­clined to clar­ify if the teacher re­signed or was fired.

This yule­tide predica­ment is not iso­lated to New Jer­sey. Dur­ing the Cape Co­ral Fes­ti­val of Lights in Florida, a man with a large sign walked around shout­ing, “There’s no Santa Claus!”

Ac­tors Dax Shep­hard and Kris­ten Bell told Us Weekly that they de­cided to in­form their daugh­ters, ages 3 and 5, that Santa is “pre­tend”. And on Fox News this week, Sean Han­nity made the ten­sion a topic of de­bate on two sep­a­rate seg­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.