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."
"Therefore, it is perfectly fine for her to hear, believe, and love a fairytale."
You are exactly right, it is a fairytale. That is how she taught it. You cannot reach is it a truth, because it isn't, is it? Why are public schools requiring that a teacher promote THEIR religion, which is based on a fairy-tale?
"It was under those terms that i agreed to be interviewed."Now you know better.Journalists will take statements out of context,misquote,make inferences,yes even lie in order to further their agenda.
Secularism is a religion in and of itself.
That this moron can't fit two thoughts into her head- and separate the two- demonstrates her ineptitude and quite succinctly points out the problem with state sponsored education.
Maybe it is merely a shallow person being mean to little kids to make herself feel justified in her own bitterness.
This woman is silly, ignorant, and a real b****. If she honestly had some serious religious objection to the lesson plan she could have refused to teach it, or not accepted the job. But, she didn't do that.
No, she decided that she was going to foist her own petty brand of meanness on a bunch of 6 and 7 year old kids who couldn't point to Eastern Europe on a map, much less comprehend what the year 562 was.
This dried up, pinched out, warped, frustrated, ill-tempered, shrivel souled bitty tried to foist her personal phony 'religious convictions' on a bunch of innocent kids. She got caught and called on it.
Now she's squealing like a stuck pig, a rather apt analogy if you ask me, because a bunch of parents objected to her inexcusable and mean spirited behavior. Had she done this to my child, I'd have her job on a platter at the very least.
This smug self righteous slitch doesn't belong in an elementary school classroom in a public school. And her 'religious freedom' argument is a canard....
She's a bi***, plain and simple.
1. No sane, rational adult truly believes that the figure "Santa Claus," as described in contemporary culture, actually, ontologically, exists. None, zero, not one. NOBODY believes in a figure living in the North Pole, working with elves and flying reindeer, monitoring the works of all children omnisciently, creeping down chimneys each 12/25 to reward the good. Nobody, not one person.
2. Yet countless adults assure naive, innocent children that they should actually accept this untruth as truth, should actually believe in the actual existence of such a being, should structure their lives and hopes and expectations and joys in part on that premise (which they know to be false) -- and they go to great lengths to fool these helpless children into believing this lie.
3. If anyone suggests that children should not be misled, hordes of conservatives -- conservatives, mind you, who pride themselves for their rationality and superior grasp of facts, and their eschewing of deception and misinformation -- will swarm that person with countless groundless accusations against the person who suggests that deliberately deceiving a child isn't a good thing.
These facts are undeniable, and this thread already bears them out. It is the juxtaposition of them which honestly, sincerely, absolutely baffles me.
Prediction: unless the presence of this prediction discourages it, my undeniable observations will make me the target of #3 above, and this targeting will wander far from any of the points I actually made, dwelling largely instead on insinuations not in evidence.
"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."
A public school should not be requiring teachers to promote their religion. "He sees you when you're sleeping; he know's when you're awake; he knows when you've been bad or good."... gee, that sound like the God you say you believe in.
Hmm, the lady whines about being required to 'teach religion' in school, then mentions Santa Claus. Well, today Santa Claus is not a 'religious' figure, despite his origins as Saint Nicholas. She said she wasn't required to 'teach lies'. Nor is she required to tear wings off butterflies. She could have held her tongue and allowed small children the wonder of their families' Christmas celebrations...which were none of her business. She sounds bitter and angry and took it out on the kids. She could easily have focused on Christmas and Santa as a wonderful American holiday where generosity and kindness is paramount. But no.
Finally, somebody got it!
Move to the head of the class, friend!
We look at cultures, and Santa is immersed in the culture. We also teach about Hanukkah.
She's a self-important knucklehead who needs to take herself a little less seriously...
"Six year olds? How many six year olds do you suppose still believe that Santa Claus is a real figure?
I hope the vast majority."
Pathetic. If you are a Christian, why do you want you children to believe in a falsehood? Why not teach them about Jesus who is the REAL person who is all-knowing, all-seeing, and rewards their good deeds?
Gawd, you must have had a miserable Christmas.
I am a grade A dope. I grew up and failed to connect the dots. Santa is a part of Christianity? I missed that in Bible school, I missed that in the public school. I blame the sloppy public education system for failing to teach me this fact, while educating me on the merits of earth day, kwanza and diversity. What excuse does the church have for failing to properly educate its youth about the Santa-Christianity connection?
"Santa Claus is not being 'taught as religion'. Noone is being told to pray to Santa Claus, noone is being told that Santa Claus created the world, and noone is being bussed to the Universal Church of Santa Claus on the taxpayers dime."
You are absoultely worng. "Dear Santa, I would like...." What are you doing? You are asking an invisible being for something. THAT, my friend, is the definition of prayer. Children are being taught that Santa "sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, knows when you've been bad or good." Those are attributes of a divine being.
If I were a lawyer and parent of a kid for whom she ruined the idea of Santa, I'd sue her crabby @ss just for the fun of it.
You sound so terribly threatened and to me, that is "pathetic".
I have two 7's going on 8, and I too was a child at one time.
I think I know from first hand experience what they believe and how their beliefs will evolve and serve them as they grow and gain in understanding of symbols of love and caring for others.
Our house will ALWAYS be a more special place and they will ALWAYS feel a little more special because, as small kids, they believed in miracles, they believe that one occurrs here in our family room, and they believe a good loving figure validated their wishes and their goodness and worthiness with his magic powers.... one night a year.
Even the charity gifts are delivered to poor families in the projects here by a volunteer dressed as....Santa Claus. For one moment of one night each year, anyone of any age can feel universally loved and cared for and worthy of receiving a loving miracle.
At least, that's how I grew up and how I hope they will chose to raise their own kids someday.
I also think I am the best guide for my kids about how and why our family chooses to celebrate Christmas, not some substitute teacher with a chip on her shoulder about the mythical "Judeao-Christian God", Santa Claus as a "symbol" of Him, and the misery she feels at others' "misguided" beliefs. Somehow I think "Santa" skipped this teacher as a child. Poor sad little girl growing up with "reality"... now a poor sad bitter woman existing only in "reality".
Just another egotistical, self centered a$$hole with a chip on her shoulder.........