A substitute teacher from New Jersey just played Scrooge to a classroom full of first graders.
As the New York Post reported, the teacher told the class that Santa Claus is not real, prompting a very angry response from parents and drawing nationwide headlines for the very Grinchy behavior. The incident took place at Cedar Hill School in the town of Montville this week, leading the school to send a letter home to parents of all the heartbroken kids.
The school’s principal, Michael J. Raj, told parents that he was disappointed in the teacher’s actions.
“As a father of four myself, I am truly aware of the sensitive nature of this announcement,” Raj wrote, via NJ.com, saying he wanted to inform parents of the incident “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.”
The school’s superintendent even got involved. Rene Rovtar said she was “troubled and disheartened by this incident.”
“The childhood wonder associated with all holidays and traditions is something I personally hold near and dear in my own heart,” she said.
The story prompted some viral attention, with many sharing it on social media and giving their opinion on the cold-hearted teacher.
No need to be a Grinch. We all know Santa is real ????https://t.co/IcNiNNIoJg
— News12NJ (@News12NJ) November 30, 2018
This isn’t the first time that a teacher has gotten into hot water for telling students that Santa Claus isn’t real. In England, parents were outraged after teachers told students at a private middle school assembly that Santa wasn’t real, saying that students “need to know the truth.” As the Mirror reported, this angered parents who thought it should be up to them to keep the magic of Christmas alive for their children.
“I couldn’t believe it, it has been my choice to keep my children believing, they have taken the magic of Christmas away from her,” said Stephanie, a mother of two students at the school.
“My daughter came and sat on my bed and said ‘Santa isn’t real is he?’ I said to her ‘Who told you that?’ and she said that the school did last week in assembly. I was shocked. I told her it was rubbish and that Santa is real.”
The New Jersey principal told parents that he spoke to the teacher who told the class that Santa Claus isn’t real. It’s not clear if the unnamed teacher was formally disciplined, but they will most definitely end up on Santa’s naughty list this year.