Teacher fired over Santa/Why Santa is bad

Posted: December 15, 2008 in Education, News, Religion
Tags: ,

santa-knew-too-muchA story came out a couple of days ago about a substitute (otherwise known as relief or supply) teacher who happened to inform the class she was taking care of that Santa Claus does not actually exist.  The result?  Parents complained and the teacher was effectively fired from working at the school ever again (and most likely any other school in that area).   Was what the Teacher did the right or wrong thing?

Education is simply the matter of being informed about the world (be it through the perspective of language, maths, art or whatever) around us and growing as individuals through the development of critical thinking skills.  That generally relies on a few simple things, both within the school and home environment.

The main part of this is trust which relies on truth.  If you lie to children and they find out about it, why should they ever trust you again?  For all they know, you may be constantly lying to them about all manner of things; Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Alcohol, Drugs, Sex … whatever.

Why should educators be expected to let claims that are clearly false stand in any sort of classroom?  If they allow that, then that whole issue of trust not only comes into play at home abut also at school – where students should be getting the greatest sense of truth and trust possible.  If you can not trust your teacher to show you the truth on a certain matter, why should you in future trust them when they say what the value of Pi is?  What should they trust you when you say you should never mix two certain chemicals unless you want your hand blown off?

The entire Santa Claus thing serves no real purpose in regards to Christmas, apart from some rather tacky merchandising.  The only reason he probably still exists, apart from efforts by advertising companies and retailers, is because a lot of people find him convenient; he helps to prepare children for the big lies by offering them up a relatively small one.

But why use Santa at all? Would it simply not be easier and make a lot more sense simply to say “This is a day we’ve chosen just to show our love for one another by swapping thoughtfully chosen gifts and eating far too much”?

I congratulate the teacher featured in the story, though I doubt she meant her comment they way it came out.  It is time to throw the idiotic shackles of myths from our lives and instead experience wonder at what really is around us.

Speaking of that teacher, could someone kindly enlighten me what was so terribly bad about the comment she is reported to have made?

‘It’s your parents who leave out presents on Christmas Day.’

Could the parents deny that is the truth in some fashion?  Even if the parents happen to be hardcore Santa worshippers of some bizarre fashion, could they simply not say “Well yes, Jimmy, we did put some under the tree for you but Santa also did some.  Yes, Jimmy, we love you that much.”?

Yes, it could have been handled better by the teacher in question.  But did she do anything worth all the fuss? Of course not.  The real blame, I would think, lies with the parents who grossly over-reacted and did not think the entire Santa lie through.

As for my own experiences with Santa: When I was growing up, my own parents went through the entire Santa routine with presents being signed from this mysterious fat bloke in red and too much facial hair.  Fortunately, I was quick on the uptake and figured the whole thing was a ruse around the time I was four or so.  Anecdotal it may be but that it seems to me that if children have not worked out Santa is a sham by the time they’re seven … well, something is amiss. On the other hand, I have encountered ten year olds who still firmly believed in the Tooth Fairy (then again, that family was fundamentally religious so…).

Primary school teacher who told children: ‘Santa does not exist’ is fired

A primary school teacher who left a class of 25 pupils in tears after she told told them Santa Claus did not exist has been fired..

When excited youngsters became rowdy as they talked about Santa, the supply teacher blurted out: ‘It’s your parents who leave out presents on Christmas Day.’

The class of seven-year-olds at Blackshaw Lane Primary School, Royton, near Oldham, Greater Manchester burst into tears and told their parents when they arrived home.

Mothers and fathers then complained about the incident and were sent a letter by the school saying the substitute teacher, who only worked at the school for one day last week, has been disciplined.

The school has now said it will not hire her again.

One father said: ‘My son came home and said that his substitute teacher had told the class that Santa doesn’t exist and it’s your mum and dad that put out presents for them.

‘Apparently, they were all talking about Christmas and being a bit rowdy. She just came straight out with it.

‘My lad was in tears and so was everyone else in the class – especially as it was so close to Christmas.

‘I thought it was wrong. He was distraught about it. He’s only seven-years-old and it’s part of the magic of Christmas to him.

‘We told him that she did not believe in Father Christmas because of her religion and he’s fine now.’

The father described the incident as ‘shocking’ and believed it was done with malicious intent.

‘A lot of parents were disgusted and complained to the school.’

The teacher, who was supplied by Rochdale and Oldham Supply Agency, is still registered and will work with other schools, the agency said.

Headteacher Angela McCormick refused to comment on the incident.

  1. stavros says:

    That’s how bad education can be. It can actually open your eyes. That’s why most religious people are afraid of knowledge (be it evolution or neuroscience or …); it can shatter their fantasy lands…

    And the funny thing is: instead of the parents taking the opportunity to explain the truth to their children (after someone else took the initial hit), they instead chose to perpetuate the myth and restore the previous state of fantasy…

  2. Stacy S. says:

    Why were they talking about Christmas in the first place? The whole mess could have been avoided.

  3. Ian Simpson says:

    In the Country I live the people celebrate Christmas but do not exchange gifts nor have father Christmas or Xmas trees.
    They do move heaven and earth to try to be together with family and friends and share a meal, but essentially to be together.
    They are a loving and sharing people.

  4. Alan Hunt says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?Thanks

  5. Raina says:

    I personally think this particular article , “Teacher fired over
    Santa/Why Santa is bad | Matt’s Notepad”, extremely engaging and the blog post
    was indeed a wonderful read. Many thanks-Nereida

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