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Teacher Called Scrooge For Saying Santa Isn’t Real

Teacher Called Scrooge For Saying Santa Isn’t Real

A second-grade teacher in Nanuet, NY, has come under fire for telling students that there is no Santa Claus and that their parents buy their Christmas presents. Parents are up in arms, with some labeling the teacher as “the new Scrooge.” Elizabeth Smith, principal of George W. Miller Elementary School, has not responded to queries but Superintendent Mark McNeill said he is investigating.

The teacher made the revelation about Santa’s true identity during a geography lesson; students had told their teacher that they knew about the North Pole because it’s where Santa lives.

The teacher is not alone in speaking up about the “truth about Santa”: Robin Robinson, an anchor at FOX News Chicago, angered many parents when she said on Tuesday that it’s important for kids to learn early on that Santa is not real, so that they not ask for gifts that are way beyond mom and dad’s budget:

“Stop trying to convince your kids that Santa is Santa. That’s why they have these high expectations. They know you can’t afford it, so what do they do? Just ask some man in a red suit. There is no Santa.”

Robinson reportedly offered an apology on Wednesday.

While many Nanuet parents are definitely up in arms with the second grade teacher, it is not clear how students felt about learning who Santa really is in the midst of a school geography lesson.

Certainly children do learn at some point that Santa — and such figures as the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy — are not real. One could argue that it is just as well that the teacher let the cat out of the bag (after all, the teacher was teaching about geography and Santa does not live at the North Pole). Robinson’s comment about parents demystifying Santa in the name of teaching children to be “realistic” is pragmatic, though delivering such information on the evening news may not have been the best way to communicate what can be earth-shattering news to some.

In an age when you read about being iPads being the “hot” gift for toddlers and when it’s become an understatement to say that Christmas is commercialized, keeping some of the tradition, the “magic” of the holiday season, seems more important than ever. Is Santa a subject best left to parents? If so, what should a teacher say when the topic of the red-suited man comes up?

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160 comments

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10:38AM PDT on Jul 21, 2013

She should instead say that there is NO GOD. The result is that she would instead be executed for Blasphamy depending if she is in an Islamic country or Texas.

7:28AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Did that teacher never believe in Santa? And just ask the real people who do live at the real "North Pole" if there is a Santa Claus or not.

12:49AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:01AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
Santa is Real!
So is Father Christmas!
Btw, what is this teacher's name? I sure as hell don't wnat her in my school system!

10:14AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Demian v.

that is an issue. and they they cry "arrg I am offended, I can't say Merry Christmas? I don't care if it offends you! grrrrrrrrrrrr"

8:54PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Again we see in a society that claims to be christian practising pagan rituals. It's a sick joke, nobody wants to know that what they are doing is actually the worship of commercialism and that it has nothing to do with christianity AT ALL. Just more sheeple doing what 'they' do best, follow, follow, follow... The sheperds were tending their their flocks of sheep, this could not have been happening in the middle of Winter. The date is wrong in a big way and anyway Jesus himself said that we are not allowed to celebrate his birth. It's a New World Order mechanism to get more and more cash out of society, that's all. Isn't it strange that we spend more money during holidays than any other time of the year. This is when the true meaning of cr@pitalism, commercialism and corporate greed shows itself. The strangest thing of all it's just a means to appease us, gives us a break from the slavery but at the same time forces us to spend stacks and stacks of money... lol. Where in the bible is their a mention of this santa, the tree, the gifts? It's the celebration of the birth of Tamus, do your homework sheeple, nothing worse than those with eyes who do not see...

1:50PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

And as for lying to children, I understand some kids have a really traumatic experience discovering that Santa or the Easter Bunny is a parent/guardian, but at the same time, the fact that we can give them such a beautiful idea is a wonderful thing in and of itself. That for even a few years, they can be happy knowing that a kindly old man will bring them something each year, or that a cute little bunny will leave them hidden treats, is a wonderful, magical thing. Even though I pretty much knew my entire life that my parents were doing those things for me (I guess I was an investigative little thing) I always appreciated their ability to try to make life more magical for me. And even though I abhor lying, I know I'll weave similar myths for my kids someday. The only problem with these type of white lies is when you refuse to tell the truth afterwards.

1:45PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

That's just rotten, and anti-creative. Only because kids have such wonderful imaginations are amazing things created in our world. Trying to crush their imagination/creativity that young is truly despicable.

12:09PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

I think an answer of "Well, some people think Santa is real but nobody has ever seen him" might have been the best tactic. I also agree with the others here who think the Santa myth is actually harmful. I never, EVER told my daughter that Santa was "real." I told her that "Santa is someone who loves you" and "anyone can be Santa" and we let it go at that.

Lying to children is never good.

11:58AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

My parents tried to rationalize their limited income with my expectations of Santa by explaining to me that although Santa brought the presents, they had to pay him for them! That pretty much finished Santa for me. However, I don't think it was the 2nd-grade teacher's job to disabuse her students re Santa's existence: better to have ignored their remarks about Santa and gotten them back on the track of geography. All families have their "stories" and myths, : for 7- or 8-year olds, I think teachers weigh in on the side of fact when necessary, while recognizing that magic and imagination have their place as well.

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