The story of a San Francisco student who was reportedly suspended for saying “Merry Christmas” to an atheist teacher was a hoax, school officials explained.
According to various reports, 9-year-old Timothy Dawson was allegedly kicked out of school for an entire week after using the holiday greeting in question at Argonne Elementary. Although several news outlets reported the story as fact, apparently the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the satirical news site National Report.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the original story stated the alleged “Merry Christmas” suspension happened at “Argon” Elementary. However, that name was later changed to “Anon.” Neither school actually exists in the area. However, this didn’t stop the fake story from spreading like wildfire.
Many people were furious that the student was reportedly suspended for saying “Merry Christmas” to an atheist teacher. As it turns out, the kid and the teacher aren’t real. Since so many outlets covered the story, the folks at the San Francisco Unified School District are working overtime to squash the rumors.
“The school has had to suffer through calls and e-mails from upset people who thought the story was true. We’re glad that people now know this story was a hoax,” communications director Gentle Blythe explained.
Since the original story claimed the incident took place at Argon Elementary School, Argonne principal Cami Okubo issued a statement about the hoax on the school’s website. Despite what you may have read online, Okubo said the suspension never happened.
“The incident did not occur at our school, Argonne Elementary, or any school in the San Francisco Unified School District,” she said in a recent statement.
According to The Wichita Eagle, it didn’t take long for the San Francisco “Merry Christmas” suspension story to find an audience on social media. The original article was reportedly shared on social media thousands of times, prompting many to place nasty calls and send unsettling emails to the Argonne Elementary School.
To make sure teachers and school officials weren’t harmed as a result of the hoax, Assistant Superintendent Leticia Salinas said police stepped up patrols around the school. Although the story originally hit the internet six days ago, the school still receives plenty of phone calls from upset individuals ready to give staff a piece of their mind.
“You don’t expect to have to deal with this at this time of year. What was mostly upsetting was some of the references of what people should do to the teacher,” Salinas explained.
What do you think about the San Francisco “Merry Christmas” suspension hoax? Do you think the National Report should take responsibility for the problems it caused?
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