Skip to comments.Teacher defends "Santa" remarks (Full, unedited statement)
Posted on 12/26/2005 8:11:14 AM PST by Conservatrix
To the Editor:
"Last week I substituted at a local elementary school in Lebanon County. The lesson plan required me to read the 1882 poem The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore to two classes of students. While I can appreciate the poem for its literary value, the subject matter is offensive to me, and the reading of this poem to the children imposed values upon me which are against my deeply held religious beliefs. I could not in good conscience present the notion of Santa Claus as a truth to the children, and stated so.
No public school teacher should be required to teach a belief, or custom, or religion that he or she believes to be false, or be required to pass those purported falsehoods onto impressionable children, without the right to state a disclaimer. Furthermore, freedom of speech and religion, no matter how unpopular the speech or against cultural norms the religion, are protected rights under the Constitution of the United States. A secular public school should not be propagating any kind of religion. The belief in Santa Claus as a divine, magical, omniscient, powerful, giving, loving father-figure, to which children are taught to make supplications and requests, is a religion indeed-- a distorted substitute for the Judeo-Christian God; a false form of Christianity; a zealously-protected American idol.
In presenting the poem, I gave the children quick historical background about the Santa Claus myth-- its evolution from the historic Nickolaus, Bishop of Myrna in Asia Minor, who died in 343 A.D., to its amalgamation with ancient Western pagan traditions of German, Scandinavian and Dutch origins, to the current manifestation in the secular Christmas culture of today. (Dutch children, for example, would put their wooden shoes out at night for Sante Klaus to fill with candies.)
The current Santa Claus figure was popularized in the late 19th Century by artist Thomas Nast of Harpers Weekly Magazine, who depicted Saint Nick, not as an elf, but a rotund, pipe-smoking man in a red and white suit. This is the deity to which countless public school children today are taught to make supplications, and about whom they sing their many songs at annual public school Christmas programs.
If people are upset about the revelation to children that Santa Claus is a myth-- which all children who are taught this lie find or figure out eventually-- perhaps it is because Santa is that zealously-guarded idol of their own modern religion. Therefore, as a religion, let Santa be kept out of the public school classroom (no more Dear Santa letters to line those school hallways)--or perhaps, in the interest of diversity, make his mythical, oversized personage share equal representation in literature, and song, and Christmas programs, with the other Person of the season: the Lord Jesus Christ, God made flesh, God with us."
"Talk about cutting your nose to spite your face."
Maybe it is about standing up for what she believes to be true, in the face of unpopular opinion.
BINGO!!! All this bitch did was substitute her beliefs for those of innocent 6-7 year old children who where merely enjoying the season as have countless children before them. Is this woman such a fool that she does not know that children discover on their own that Santa is not actually a real person but an idea and a symbol for a more deeply held belief that emerges in later years?
She makes a good case for empowering those who hire, fire, and select teachers to do so according to their own whims, values, and judgments of what's good for the children and what they should be taught--with no particular consideration for the teacher's welfare or rights.
No one should be allowed to teach children if he or she does not conform to the standards of those who hire, fire, and select teachers--regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual preference, physical appearance, need for a job, conformity to Leftist standards of political correctness, and blah blah blah blah--or anything else.
In other words, what's good for the children is the only concern, and if you don't like the teacher, fire him/her.
You know...I agree.
No! It can't be.... Aaaaaarrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!
Merry Christmas, indeed!
"Twas the Night Before Christmas" is "offensive"??????
Whew these liberals must eat nails 24/7
The teacher is a Christian, conservative republican.
"No one should be allowed to teach children if he or she does not conform to the standards of those who hire, fire, and select teachers--regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual preference, physical appearance, need for a job, conformity to Leftist standards of political correctness, and blah blah blah blah--or anything else."
She is a right-wing person, not a leftist.
I despise herds with great contempt, and I have been fighting the public sector ever since.
If you were asked to speak about abortion in a classroom setting, and the lesson plan gave told you to tell about it as a good, nice thing, would you do it? I know if it were me, I would not be able to do it.
I hope the vast majority.
I think if it was truly about that. "She" would have stood up to the school board and/or the parents. "She" would not have put the young kids in the middle of the battlefield.
If "she" is truly trying to stand up for "her" principles, she should simply refuse to cover the subject material at all, instead of imposing "her" sense of morality on the kids, trumping the will of their parents.
"She" is self-deluded scum, in my humble opinion. No undue offense to "her". ...and so is Mr. Martin.
I'll be responsible for deciding how and when to teach my child about truth, thank you very much.
It's tough for liberals when they can't have total control of information.
No, IMO, she is a liberal.
How can anybody in there right mind find "Twas the Night Before Christmas" offensive.
The only other people who do are people like the ACLU and michael newdow.
I'm surmising that this woman like the liberals would find "God Rest Ye' Merry Gentlemen" offensive also.
Wow, and I always thought Ebenezer Scrooge was a man!! I hope this "teacher" got switches and coal in her stocking from Santa, and a swift kick in the butt from the little kids she "teaches."
I suppose then speaking out against homosexuality, muslims etc should be just as protected? Or Does this 'tolerance' of free speech only extend to attacks against institutions she does not support, protect or agree with?
I would be interested in hearing her explain how denouncing homosexualiaty is 'hate' speech, but denouncing Christian beliefs is 'protected' if not revered...
"No, scripted from the heart and conscience of someone willing to live by what they believe to be true."
If she said the same about God, because she was an atheist, or that homosexuality is a good life style, it would be okay because she believed it to be true?
The moron is there to teach the three R's. (or should be) Teachers may do well to leave the morality to the individual family.
Is Santa literally and ACTUALLY being taught? Or is the children's Santa myth re-inforced by a literary recitation or reading?
Undoubtedly, this substitute teacher has attended the ACLU workshops.
"Why the ***% is Santa being taught in public school as a religion?"
Explain to us how reading a very well known, popular, seasonal poem is teaching a religeon. In addition, if you are so worried about a "competing religeous figure," why the need to represent vulgarity in your response?
You're kidding, right?
I dare say my faith is as strong, if not stronger than hers, and yet I can make the distinction of the true meaning of Christmas, and that of Santa Claus.
That being said, I continue to teach about Santa to my students. The benovolent jolly old elf brings shares the joy of giving during this Christmas season. To say this teacher stood up for what she believes in, defies common sense, and a respect for the opinions of others.
What right does she have to impose her opinions over that of the children's parents?
You've missed the boat here in respecting the culture of others.
Is she's offended at the thought of Santa, then she should keep it to herself, and not display her actions in a public school.