Last week a substitute teacher at a New Jersey elementary school told a class of first graders that Santa is not real, which infuriated many parents. In first grade, children are roughly 5- or 6-years-old in many instances, so the news came extremely early for many in the classroom. The details of the fiasco caused many a naughty list comparison, but for some of the families, the situation felt serious.
According to an NBC News report, the unfortunate revelation occurred in Cedar Hill School in Montville last Thursday when a teacher called “Ms. M” told the class of youngsters that Santa, the elves, and all eight reindeer are not real. One parent named Lisa Simek took to Facebook to detail the incident.
According to Simek’s account, the substitute teacher asked the students about the upcoming holiday and then went on to “unleash” the truth on the unsuspecting children.
“She told them 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.”
In addition to Santa, the teacher also explained that both the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny are also made up.
“A grown woman tried to crush our 6-year-old’s spirit, along with the spirits of the other 22 kids in CH’s 1st Grade class. Many of us parents have been doing damage control since the kids get home from school today,” said Simek.
In response to the situation, Cedar Hill Elementary School principal Michael J. Raj wrote a letter to parents to apologize for the way the substitute handled the class, according to USA Today. He explained that the sub had used “poor judgment” and then empathized with their situation.
“As a father of four myself, I am truly aware of the sensitive nature of this announcement,” Raj wrote.
Also, the school district Montville Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar released a statement that said the details left her “troubled and disheartened.”
Some good news came out of the situation, though. In an update to her original Facebook post, Simek explained that Mrs. Casey Daniel’s journalism class at Toms River High – East High School, offered to write each child in the first-grade classroom “individual, personalized, whimsical letters from the North Pole as a part of their creative writing holiday project.”
Simek referred to the gesture as a “Christmas miracle.” In addition, Simek asked that people refrain from bashing the substitute and instead show her that Christmas magic is real.