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Santa teacher’s lack of respect

Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date published: 12 December 2008


A LACK of proper training and respect of other people’s beliefs have been blamed for a teacher telling children that Santa doesn’t exist.

Many parents have contacted the Chronicle to voice their anger after it was revealed that a supply teacher at Blackshaw Lane Primary School, Royton, told a class of around 25 seven-year-olds that it’s mums and dads who leave out presents on Christmas Day.

The school has refused to comment on the incident but it’s emerged that the teacher won’t be allowed to work there again.

One complainant, a teacher at another school whose grandson was in the class, says the incident has raised issues over teacher training and cultural differences that should not be swept under the carpet.

She said: “The reason she told the children this story is because she is an Asian woman who does not believe in Christmas as she celebrates Eid.

“As a teacher we have to respect everyone’s customs and religion and in this respect it was not done. This teacher has obviously not had the correct type of training. She must have some training to be told that you don’t put your beliefs on these children.”

She said the teacher told pupils their parents had lied to them. Parents were left with a damage limitation exercise of explaining to their children that the teacher simply had different beliefs.

She added: “I think it was disgusting. There was a near riot at the school when parents went in.”

Although the school is based within the Oldham Council area, the teacher was employed by the Rochdale and Oldham Supply Agency, administered by Rochdale Council.

A Rochdale Council spokesman said: “The school has asked that the teacher is not used for future supply work at Blackshaw Lane Primary.”


READERS HAVE THEIR SAY:

Scrooge teacher

MY son, aged seven, is in Year 3 at Blackshaw Lane, and therefore was one of the pupils in class when the supply teacher told the children there was no such thing as Santa.

I totally agree with the comments made by the other parents in the Chronicle, and likewise, I feel that too many doubts have been put into his head, and Christmas will never be the same again for him.

To say I am annoyed would be an understatement.

No adult has a right to tell a child Father Christmas isn’t real.

As we are all aware, the most influential people in a child’s life are of course parents, and teachers.

To then be told this by a teacher it “must be true”, to quote my son.

To try and get around this, we have gone down the road, that as the woman in question is of Asian origin, that it is her beliefs which are different from ours.

As mentioned by other parents, I do not hold Blackshaw Lane responsible as a school, but rather the supply teacher, who took it upon herself to shatter children’s illusions.

Unfortunately, the seed of doubt has well and truly bedded in now, and if we all remember back to our childhood, once there is doubt, you never truly believe again.

PARENT


Deserves the sack

WHAT a wally this teacher must be. Goodness knows where we would be if there were no fairytales.

 

Walt Disney would have been penniless for one

On a more serious note, I read that this teacher has been disciplined. Disciplined? This is surely gross misconduct and in any other industry she would have been suspended and dismissed.

I read that her religion doesn’t allow her to recognise Father Christmas so I can only presume that her faith is Muslim. I have a lot of work colleagues who are Muslims and are surely as disgusted as I am at coming out with this awful statement.

So the pupils were a bit rowdy. They were surely very excited about Christmas and if she cannot accept this then may I suggest she resigns.

If the head teacher feels that a meagre discipline letter is adequate then I suggest she looks back to her childhood, her children’s Christmases, if she has any, and wonder what they would have thought if they had heard such a statement.

Hopefully, Father Christmas will have a few big sacks and I suggest that he gives one to the teacher and head teacher — then we’ll all be happy.

JOHN RAWSKI


Prey on minds

THE Scrooge teacher deserves not to be employed in teaching any more. Religious reasons or otherwise, this teacher should not be looking after seven-year-olds and putting her own thoughts across like that.

She should realise that at that age, a lot of their life is make-believe and the children should be allowed a childhood.

Her words will prey on the minds of many of those children through this Christmas and beyond.

MARIAN HAMPSON


Bah humbug

TO quieten a class of seven-year-olds, excited about Christmas, by telling them Santa Claus does not exist is absolutely appalling.

There can be no grounds for this behaviour — religious or otherwise.

I hope this person doesn’t ever come to teach any of my grandchildren. In fact, I hope this person cannot teach again.

There is enough badness in the real world without taking young children’s dreams away.

I would really like to know the teacher’s reason for saying what she did in the manner that she did.

Nastiness from a teacher is no way to discipline children — especially at only seven years of age.

Bah humbug, Scrooge teacher.

ALAN DERBYSHIRE


Joyless

WELL what a bundle of laughs she sounds. I bet she’s a joy when she’s out with her friends — that’s of course if she has any.

BAZANOLD


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