Santa ain’t real: school apologises for ‘crushing kids’ spirits’

Santa ain’t real: school apologises for ‘crushing kids’ spirits’ December 3, 2018
Image via Facebook

New Jersey fashion publicist, mommy and ‘enthusiast of all things pretty’ Lisa Simek, above, compelled a school to apologise for introducing doubt into young minds after a substitute teacher told first grade students that Santa Claus isn’t real.

The storm in a mulled wine cup was unleashed when, in a Facebook post last week Simek prayed:

For a Christmas Magic miracle to keep these kids believers for as long as possible.

She revealed that the teacher had gone beyond rubbishing the idea of Santa. She had also dismissed as fantasies flying reindeer, the Easter bunny, elves and the tooth fairy.

An outraged Simek wrote:

A grown woman tried to crush our six-year-old‘s spirit, along with the spirits of the other 22 kids. Many of us parents have been doing damage control since the kids get home from school today.

In a letter to parents, Cedar Hill School Principal Michael Raj, in Montville, said that once he became aware of the situation, he “immediately” spoke to the substitute teacher about:

Her poor judgment … 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.

He then apologised to parents, saying as a parent himself, he is “truly aware of the sensitive nature” of the announcement.

Montville Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar issued a statement saying she was “troubled” and “disheartened” by the incident.

The childhood wonder associated with all holidays and traditions is something I personally hold near and dear in my own heart.

Administrators didn’t release the teacher’s name and haven’t said if she would continue to teach in the district.

Netflix’s publicity poster

And speaking of Christmas fantasies, only because I happen to be a Kurt Russell fan did I curl up on the sofa at the weekend to watch him play a real bad-ass Santa in Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles – and I loved it, mainly for the reasons set out by Dead Guy:

So….I’ve just had an experience I won’t forget for a while. I think I just saw the weirdest Christmas movie of the year. It’s called Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell as Santa. And oh boy is it a ride.

Half the movie is your typical kids Christmas movie about believing in the season, and the other half is just batshit insanity.

Some things I’ve seen:

• Santa inferring that both world wars started because he didn’t deliver the presents on time that year.

• Santa stealing a car with the help of a teen and young child and leading the cops on a chase through Chicago

• Santa being thrown in prison

• Santa partying with prostitutes

• A weird musical number in the style of jailhouse rock that comes out of nowhere and is never mentioned again.

• A little girl being thrown into a fire in Santa’s gift sac [sic] by an organized crime group.

• Creepy as fuck elves almost cutting the teen’s nuts off with a chainsaw.

Something tells me this movie won’t be on on the Simek family’s yuletide watch list this year … or any other.

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  • Götterdämmerung

    A pity this teacher didn’t say god and Jesus aren’t real either.

  • TrickyDicky

    I believe in some parts of the US that would still lead to the teacher being stoned.

  • barriejohn

    What? You mean there isn’t a Santa Claus after all?

  • This reminds me that I was the kid in 1st grade who prompted a classroom meeting because I got mad at another kid and blurted out that Santa is a myth whereupon a bunch of kids started crying……good times

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Yeah, can’t have school kids learning about REALITY. So are these people claiming that Santa is RELIGION now? Cause yeah, can’t have schools attack religion.

    Wonder how the Jewish/Muslim/Atheists families felt get this ‘apology’ from the school. So, sorry we haz sads that kids were told something you don’t believe in is BS, we gonna make sure the other kids will hate your kids EVEN more now. Merry Christmas.

  • ephemerol

    Now if only there was a school that would crush adults’ spirits by telling them Jesus ain’t real.

  • Raging Bee

    I vaguely remember believing in Santa — but not so strongly that losing my belief was a horrible traumatic event. Or even a memorable one. I think the fantasy just never fit so well in my mind, just another fanciful thing that my parents told me and I greeted it with a resounding “Oh…okay…if you say so…” and then filed away as irrelevant/unconnected to my immediate reality.

    I guess I just cared more about what toys I got, than about who’d given them. Also, that knit sweater that lasted so long was hand-knitted by my grandmother — my parents were sure to make that clear. Oh, and none of the thank-you notes my parents made me write were to Santa.

    All in all, maybe this teacher was a little out of line…but nowhere near as out of like as the parents’ reaction. What’s this leading to, a rule forbidding any teacher from questioning any fanciful story their kids hear?

  • Savpunk

    Being told the truth crushes your spirit. That pretty much sums up the evangelical POV.

  • adhoc

    As an ex-Clausist, I can tell you the kids will be okay without a belief in Santa. If you need Santa to make your kids behave, your parenting skills suck.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    In followup news, the substitute teacher was later dismissed from service, with a stocking full of coal as severance pay, and warned that she may expect a visit from Krampus this season. Santa could not be reached for comment.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Sorry, no but don’t worry, there’s still Father Christmas as the renamed Lord of Misrule and the embodiment of Yule.

  • barriejohn

    This news has ruined Christmas for me, but at least i still have the Easter Bunny and the Giant Pumpkin to brighten my life!

  • Sophotroph

    I just can’t muster any sympathy for parents who lie to their children and get mad at everybody else for not helping them perpetuate those lies.

    You want to raise your child in perpetual ignorance, where none of the facts of the world can inadvertently reach them, go join the Amish or something.

  • Mythblaster

    Damn… imagine how pissed she’s gonna be when she finds out I’m a substitute teacher who tells all my students that God/Jesus/Ghosts aren’t real.

  • Ooooorrrr how about making it clear to your kids that Santa, as a personification of the “spirit of the holiday season”, is make believe?

  • Philip Buczko

    Kurt Russel rocked as Santa.

  • William

    That’s The GREAT Pumpkin.

  • barriejohn

    Not according to the New Reformed Bible Truth Miracle Pumpkin Church. Actually, it was late at night and I even had “Easter Bunny” up for several hours!

    Sorted now.

  • William

    In U.S. public schools? Yeah, probably don’t do that. The State (in the person of You) isn’t supposed to endorse irreligion any more than it’s supposed to endorse religion.

    Ghosts are probably fair game, though.

  • William

    BTW, I’m not (necessarily) saying “keep your atheism a secret”. If a kid asks you something relevant, it should be OK to say “I don’t believe that.” What’s not OK is to be the Voice of Authority, declaring “There is no God,” in a way that says “I don’t believe that and neither should you.” Even if that is your private opinion (and even if it’s mine).

  • Jay Has

    There is, it’s called the Internet.