We all know substitute teachers aren’t always held to the same “impeccably high” standards other teachers supposedly are. But when one of them doesn’t have the common sense to keep mum about Santa Claus in a room full of six-year-olds, you have to start doubting the entire system.
In what’s being called a “personnel matter,” an unnamed substitute teacher debunked other holiday creatures in the first grade classroom, including the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Elf on the Shelf.
Principal Michael Raj sent out a letter to parents, informing them of a situation they probably already knew about, given the talkative nature of first graders, but the damage had already been done. Distressed mother Lisa Simek wrote on Facebook that the teacher “tried to crush” her 6-year-old’s spirit.
No matter where you stand on the issue of the belief in mythical creatures among children, or the “magic” of the holidays, one thing we can all agree on is that teachers should not be the ones to choose when, where, and how to explain sensitive issues to children. This particular teacher may have been dismissed, but you can be sure there are countless others who are doing parents’ jobs for them, every single school day. I hope the anger and frustration felt by the parents of these children won’t be forgotten in 5 years when little Billy comes home knowing precisely how anal sex works, or explaining the finer points of gun control or amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Cedar Hill Elementary is located in Montville Township, NJ and has won a 2016 award for “National School of Character.” It serves approximately 400 students in Kindergarten through fifth grade.