A substitute teacher in New Jersey landed herself on the naughty list and most likely will be getting coal for Christmas after telling a bunch of kids in a Grade 1 class Santa isn’t real and “reindeer can’t fly.”
On Thursday, Cedar Hill School issued a letter to parents after “a substitute teacher apparently announced to the class that Santa was not real.”
“Once I became aware of the situation, I immediately spoke to the substitute teacher regarding her poor judgement in making this proclamation,” school principal Michael J. Raj said in the letter.
An angry parent said on social media the unidentified teacher told students “Santa isn’t real and parents just buy presents and put them under their tree.”
“She told them reindeer can’t fly and elves are not real – elf on the shelf is just a pretend doll that your parents move around,” Lisa Simek said on Facebook.
Simek claimed the teacher further unloaded on the class, telling kids “the tooth fairy is not real because mom or dad just sneak into your room in the middle of the night and put money under your pillow, same goes for the Easter bunny.”
“A grown woman tried to crush our six-year-old’s spirit, along with the spirits of the other 22 kids in CH’s 1st Grade class,” Simek said of the incident. “Many of us parents have been doing damage control since the kids get home from school today, but coming from an adult this is definitely the kind of seed that was planted deep inside of their skeptical, perceptive and inquisitive minds.”
The school principal acknowledged in the letter to parents the “sensitive nature” of the teacher’s announcement.
“As a father of four myself, I am truly aware of the sensitive nature of this announcement. On behalf of Cedar Hill School, I apologize for this incident,” Raj said. “I am sending this letter so that you are aware of the situation and if the conversation comes up at home over the next few days you can take appropriate steps to maintain the childhood innocence of the holiday season.”
Montville Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar said in a statement that she was “troubled and disheartened by this incident.” Rovtar explained that “childhood wonder associated with all holidays and traditions” is special to her.
Officials did not name the teacher or said if any action would be taken against the substitute.
–with a file from the Associated Press