UK school apologises for telling kids the truth about Santa

UK school apologises for telling kids the truth about Santa December 15, 2019

TRUE story*: an American kid aged 4 is taken by his mum into a play area at branch of Chick-Fil-A before it abandoned its Christian values. There he loudly declared that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ aren’t real. He compounds the offence by saying he is Jesus Christ! Mayhem ensues.

His mum wrote:

Chick-fil-A asked us not to return … I am apparently the lesbian mother of the second coming of Christ.

Image via YouTube

I was reminded of that incident when I learned today that Archbishop Sentamu School in Hull has been forced to  apologise after its deputy head told pupils “there is no Father Christmas”.

The comments were made during an assembly where pupils were asked to focus on Jesus this festive season instead of Santa

The deputy teacher is reported to have told pupils:

Christmas isn’t a time for presents, parties or dinners. It is a time for remembering the baby Jesus and the miracle of his birth, because as we all know there is no Father Christmas.

The aunt of one boy is said to have been shocked:

He is only 11, and we were in the queue with his younger brother to meet Santa at a grotto, and he whispered to me that Father Christmas wasn’t real.  I asked him what he meant and who told him that, and he said a teacher had told all of the kids in assembly.

I didn’t want to say anything too much at that time, because there were lots of children around, but he finally told me the whole story later on.

According to the woman, identified only as “Amy”, her nephew had remained “tight-lipped and upset” by the teacher’s comments, and he only spoke about what he heard days after the assembly.

He told me the teacher kept going on about Jesus, instead of Father Christmas, so I told him Christmas can be about whatever you want it to be.

I told him Father Christmas is magic and so is Jesus, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to believe in both.

The school have no right to ruin the magic of Christmas for anyone.

Archbishop Sentamu Academy has apologised for any upset that has been caused, adding that the assembly in question was focused on the celebration of advent.

Academy principal Chay Bell said:

We as an academy are deeply sorry for any upset that has been caused. It was certainly not our intention to do that.

The collective worship over a week ago was focused on advent. As you would expect for a Church of England School our focus was on the birth of Christ and the second coming.

A colleague who carried out the collective worship said advent is about the arrival of Jesus and not Father Christmas.

We did have a concerned parent who contacted the academy and that colleague has spoken to that parent and apologised. It was certainly not intentional to upset any students.

* I discovered the Chick-Fil-A story here (scroll down to No. 62). Here’s another corker from the Bored Panda site (No 52):

The priest stood up for the second time to speak at my grandson’s Christening yesterday and as he began to speak my 5 year old son yelled, “Oh no, not again”.

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  • Erp

    I hope the 11 year old was well aware that Father Christmas was myth before the assembly. I note the school is for older students (11+).

  • Jennny

    Yes, bit odd as it’s a Secondary School. Heads in the UK are very conscious of not getting bad press or numbers decrease and with it their funding. Some Academy schools are struggling and one or two even closed as they were not viable. If this incident goes viral, or gets lots more publicity, the head will have a miserable xmas trying to find ways to salvage his school’s reputation. Sentamu,the school’s sponsor, may be a bit of a hero as he was detained and tortured for 90 days by Idi Amin before fleeing to Britain, but he is horrendously homophobic, not my favourite person.

  • Jim Jones

    And a little child shall lead them.

  • Sarah Spindler

    I personally think you should have kids pretend Santa (and the tooth fairy and easter bunny, for that matter) are real to create memories and imagination, but you shouldn’t lie to your kids as that can make it harder to trust parents, however a kid should be told to let others believe.

  • Jim Jones

    Fingers crossed that this silly system ends and all UK schools are state funded and run.

  • Ann Kah

    Uh..eleven? And still believing in Santa? That child has deeper problems than the school faculty.

  • Steven Watson

    By the time I was eleven I was well on the way to concluding Jesus was a fictional character; nevermind Santa

  • Conuly

    “Only eleven”!?

  • Michael Neville

    Father Christmas isn’t real? Oh no! Thank the Tooth Fairy that Santa Claus can fill in for Father Christmas.

  • I figured out that Santa was fake by the time I was five. Other family members tried to convince me he was real, but I was having none of it. I finally shut that down by refusing to share my Christmas want list with anyone but Santa. I said something to the effect that if he brings everything, why do you need to know.

  • Brian Shanahan

    The academies struggling thing has a lot more to do with that model being utterly useless for the purposes of teaching.

  • Scott Selby

    There ain’t no sanity clause.

  • Tawreos

    The priest stood up for the second time to speak at my grandson’s Christening yesterday and as he began to speak my 5 year old son yelled, “Oh no, not again”.

    OK, I don’t know this kid, but this makes me love this kid.

    I am somehow always surprised when people that believe in imaginary beings go out of their way to make sure people don’t believe in other imaginary beings.

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, that’s what the teacher was saying: the British Father Christmas was a myth, but the AMERICAN Santa is TOTALLY REAL!

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    Got news for the Archbishop — Santa Claus/Father Christmas is every bit as real as Jesus Christ.

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    I knew a young woman (in her early 20’s at the time) who firmly believed that you could not get pregnant until you were married. She honestly believed that sex did not happen until people were married.

  • Ann Kah

    My mother, never one to take second place, signed things from “Mrs. Santa”. I recognized her distinctive schoolteacher-printing by the age of five.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I feel that thinking 11-year-olds are well over believing in Santa really should be a safe assumption to make. Studies have shown that most kids conclude that Santa is imaginary shortly after age eight, even though some are perfectly willing to keep playing along to keep the presents and candy coming. I wonder if this particular 11-year-old had some disability?

    I also wonder why our society is so desperate to get kids to believe an outright lie for a few years, anyway? It’s one thing if the Santa myth is framed as shared pretense that adults and children engage in for the fun of it, but why do we feel the need to try to hoax kids to believing in a real, physical St. Nicholas?