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Teacher Laid Off For Telling the Truth About Santa

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the bah-humbug dept.

Idle 26

Pfhorrest writes "The Times Online reports, "A supply teacher has been told not to return to one primary school after she told a class of seven-year-olds that Santa Claus did not exist. Children at Blackshaw Lane Primary School in Oldham were talking about Christmas when the teacher came out with the news. Father Christmas was not responsible for delivering their presents on Christmas Eve, the pupils were taught. The teacher, who had been drafted in for just the day, has now been told not to come back. Parents complained to the school after their children returned home to recount what they had learned in lessons that day." With all the contention about teaching religion (or the lack thereof) in schools these days, what do you all think about similar issues regarding more frivolous popular folklore like Santa Claus?" And what about Cthulhu? Should a 7-year-old be forewarned that he will eventually exist in a world of sublime madness at the whim of the ancient ones?

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Santa's Secret (0)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123483)

He's a SLUT! No wait, that's Victoria's Secret. Sorry.

Supplies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26123667)

"A supply teacher has been told not to return to one primary school ..."

"Supply" teacher? In what country/planet do they teach 7 year olds about supply chain management?

Re:Supplies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26129577)

In case this isn't a troll, it's UKian-English for "substitute teacher". As in, a fill-in from a generic supply, and not the main teacher. Also, the supply teacher wasn't laid off; just asked not to return to that school.

Glad she isn't coming back (1)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26123839)

I suppose you could make all sorts of legalistic, pedantic arguments about why what she did was justifiable. But at the end of the day, it's just a mean thing to do. Why would we want someone like this teaching seven year olds?

I dunno, if it happened to our 5 year old I probably wouldn't put up too much of a stink. I'm sure my wife and I would vent to each other about how stupid it was. I guess the subversive thing to do would be to just tell our son, "Oh she's just mean, you don't need to list to that particular teacher the next time". Then if she came back to that particular class, she would have to deal with it. Hopefully after that she'd just quit :)

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26125083)

I suppose you could make all sorts of legalistic, pedantic arguments about why what she did was justifiable.

Because, you know... it's the truth?

Lying to your children is still lying, and it's a sin acording to the same bible where the christams celebration is _supposed_ to come from (putting aside the fact that originally was a pagan celebration).

Sorry, but christmas is not a celebration where "Santa brings you gifts", its the celebration of the event when hope came down to the damned humanity. Its the celebration of the freedom of the whole human race against their own sins.

I'm so sick of this thinkofthechildren mentality, the best way to prepare your children to the real world is not by rounding the corners of everything in sight, let them make mistakes when the consecuences aren't as bad as would be for the same mistake some years after that; let them play in the mud where they get sick early and develop a good inmunological system; correct them when the do something that they should not be doing (the "discipline stick" is biblical, and it's pretty literal). Creating an unreal world where everything is perfect just spoils them and make them useless, by the time they actually need to do things by their own, they won't even know what to do, you're not going to be there for them, so you HAVE to prepare them for the real world, not for a world that would make Hello Kitty's Fantasy Island look like a cruel place; that's your freaking DUTY.

Go ahead, tell them that Christmas is not getting gifts from a fat guy who defies physics, we are celebrating that humanity is not going to hell... literally.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26125639)

I think we (the non-homosexual majority) are actually more sick of you "innocence stealers" than you are of us "child nurturers." Who the fuck do you think you are that you think it's your business to shatter the innocent dreams of a child?

I believe it is people like you, far left winger (probably homosexual) liberals that are to blame for so many of the problems the world has today. A child has no business worrying if Santa is a real person or a mythical character. Children are supposed to remain children for as long as possible, and fucking assholes like you should die in a fire for being hell bent on cutting that time short.

I'll probably be modded down as a troll, but at the end of the day it was worth it to call out a rat bastard like you in public.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26125991)

Who the fuck do you think you are that you think it's your business to shatter the innocent dreams of a child?

If _you_ create those innocent dreams based on lies, you'll have to shatter them sooner and later, and you'll still be a lier. At somepoint of their lives, children will discover that their childish fantasies were just that, childish fantasies, and no damage is done; but when you artificially create those fantasies based on lies, all you will be teaching them is to not trust in you, or that lying is pretty ok.

I'm not hell bent of destroying children's childhood, but I think that lying to children is just plain wrong.

BTW, I'm not a far left winger (nor homosexual for that matter).

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (2, Interesting)

Metapsyborg (754855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26128095)

I can't believe your original post was modded interesting.

You seem to think that allowing children to be ignorant of the harsh realities of the real world is a bad thing, which just means you're a selfish, spiteful person or more likely someone who hasn't had to face a lot of hardship. Apparently you are religious (because you proclaim Christmas is supposed to be a holy day) and you critique other people for raising their kids in a "world that would make Hello Kitty's Fantasy Island look like a cruel place," but religion was the very first self-induced, escapist fantasy created to soothe the hardships that humankind must face. Teaching your kid that a magical person was born on December 25th who could heal people, replicate food, and absorb the evil nature of humanity is no different than teaching him/her that Santa is going to drop off presents under the tree. It's a fictional character (or historical person who's accomplishments have been greatly exaggerated over the generations) created to pass along meaning through the generations, and if you weren't such a fucking idiot (or more likely naive child) you'd realize that Santa embodies the spirit of what Christians want us to believe Jesus is all about - in the end the good get rewarded and the evil get punished; that it is good to give and be humble; that happiness can also be found in making others happy.

A teacher who deliberately attempts to dispel the illusion of Santa is no different than a teacher who tries to teach the kids that there is no god or that Jesus was just a really charismatic guy who inspired others to write about him, or on the flip-side a teacher that tries to convert the kids to Christianity or teaches them that creationism is right and evolution is wrong. These are not subjects for a classroom before at least age sixteen, if not eighteen. It's just malicious and/or selfish meddling before those ages, because there's nothing wrong with children living in an illusory world and in fact those childish imaginings are what creates creative, imaginative adults.

Christmas is now a secular holiday, whether you like it or not. My parents are atheists and they still raised me with Christmas and to believe in Santa, because it is easy to celebrate the spirit of Christmas no matter your beliefs - giving and receiving, spending time with family, making traditions whether it's an aluminum pole or a murdered tree decorated with trinkets. Every kid eventually learns Santa isn't real, so there's no reason to force the truth onto them.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26131055)

- "and if you weren't such a fucking idiot"

rant fail @ ad hominem

ltp

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133093)

Now?

Christmas was non-Christian LONG before is was a Christian holiday. Moving it to a more inclusive 'winter holiday' is actually taking it BACK.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26134895)

Teaching your kid that a magical person was born on December 25th who could heal people, replicate food, and absorb the evil nature of humanity is no different than teaching him/her that Santa is going to drop off presents under the tree.

Actually, they're completely different. No adult believes in Santa, no one lives their life according to Santa's teachings, no one changes the way they live their life because of Santa. Santa is merely a cultural icon and nothing more. Jesus, or at least a belief in Jesus, drastically alters a true believers life in ways a belief in Santa could only dream of. In short, belief in Jesus is a much more profound thing than belief in Santa and the two should not be grouped together.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (2, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135835)

I'm not hell bent of destroying children's childhood, but I think that lying to children is just plain wrong

You apparently don't have children, nor interact with them. You also don't interact much with women. Sometimes, things must be "oversimplified" to keep their illusory world up and running. Children are not yet developmentally ready for the psychological burdens of sexuality, disease, death, hatred, and the like. Their world is one where magic still exists, adult matters are unneccessary and boring, and the purpose of life is clear.

You think you are happier with your illusions dispelled, life crapped up, and problems problems problems? Let them enjoy their childhood without the anxieties of an adult society. Let them develop before you lay weight on their minds. Let them have their fantasies of magical, altruistic fat men giving children around the world their heart's desires. AND LET ME TELL MY LITTLE GIRL THAT IF SHE KEEPS KICKING THE BACK OF MY SEAT, SANTA'S NOT GIVING HER A WII FOR CHRISTMAS!

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136691)

Children are not yet developmentally ready for the psychological burdens of

I doubt that is the true reason (at least not for Santa in 2nd Grade). I suspect it is more that the parents are the ones not "ready", but that still doesn't change the truth in your post. (IE it is not a simple decision to be made in 5 minutes by a substitute teacher who doesn't have to live with the long term results.)
in my experience the shattering of these illusions is always harder on the parents, so they delay these concepts (like sex, drugs, death, etc) well beyond the needed developmental stage of the children.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (0)

jythie (914043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133061)

I would actually go the other way and suggest that it is the forced innocence of children that is doing the harm.

Over the last few decades we have been shoving this innocence thing down children's throats, forcing them to have warped views of themselves, their abilities, and the world, LONG past when nature would have. The end result being a couple generations of people developing coping mechanisms far too late in life since they were not exposed to things in time.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (1)

greenbird (859670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135933)

Children are supposed to remain children for as long as possible, and fucking assholes like you should die in a fire for being hell bent on cutting that time short.

And the way people raise kids these days that extends well into adulthood. Being a child doesn't mean protecting them from any evidence that the world can be an cruel and unfair place. It's called growing up. It should start shortly after birth. Having innocent dreams shattered is part of that growing up process.

Re:Glad she isn't coming back (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26129913)

In the real world, people get lied to all the time. Not just on-off lies, either, but big, huge lies everyone seems to believe for years on end. So maybe being told there's a Santa and then finding out it's not true is a good learning experience for all.

Stupid Parents (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134861)

Being Jewish in this Christian country (Christmas is a "secular" holiday? Riiiight...), my wife and I had to solve the issue of what to tell our kids about Santa when they were young. On the one hand, we were not comfortable lying to them, but on the other hand, we did not think it was fair to their Christian friends' families for us to send them to school saying, "I know something you don't know! Santa Claus is fake. I have proof!"

While I'll never understand why Christians find it so damaging to a child to think presents come from their parents as opposed to Santa Claus, in the end, we simply pleaded ignorance on the whole Santa issue and let them know what their Chanukah presents came from us (how funny is that? Traditionally, Jews exchanged gifts on Purim, not Chanukah. Chanukah is a minor holiday, but it happens to coincide with Christmas, and well... the rest is history.). They were happy to receive gifts, and it turned out they didn't much care whom the delivery agent was.

To expand a bit on that, though, I think that the phenomenon of 7-year-olds becoming upset to learn that Santa did not deliver their Christmas gifts has more to do with the worldview shift than anything Santa-related. 7-year-olds are beginning to understand a fair amount of nuance, but at the end of the day, they still need to live in a world of absolutes. When something so absolute as their favorite magical person in the world goes up in a puff of logic, then, yeah, they are not going to react well.

The parents' reactions could have been a lot better, however. I mean, think about it. You've got a kid who had believed in Santa--who still *wants* to believe in Santa--but who just got confronted with an uncomfortable revelation. The parents reacted by blowing up about what a terrible person that teacher that was, and how the teacher lied, and how you shouldn't listen to your teachers, and whatever else. But at the end of the day, we're talking about a mysterious creature. Would it have killed these parents to just keep the mystery alive?

"Your substitute teacher doesn't believe in Santa Claus?!?"

"No, she said that Santa is really you and dad! And that it's physically impossible for one person to visit every home in the world in one night and..."

"But you sat on Santa's lap at the mall and I was standing right there... if I Santa were me, wasn't *that* impossible?"

"But she said that isn't really Santa! That it's just an actor and..."

"Well I guess that's what your teacher believes...and I can understand how that would make her sad. (Smile deeply and look at the kid in the eye) I believe that Santa is wonderful and real and magic! Tell me, what do you believe?"

If the kid still believes the teacher (yeah right), then call the kid's bluff and offer to write a note for Santa saying that all the children in the home don't believe in Santa anymore and to just go away without leaving any presents and never to come back. That should buy you another year of blissful ignorance.

You know, it's funny. The older I get, the more and more I believe in Santa Claus. And that the parents are the little Christmas Elfs. Tell me, Mantrid, what do you believe?

Lets fire those who teach the holocaust happened. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26125125)

The problem with education as it stands is that everyone in a position of power is a coward, unwilling to challenge the status quo. On the one hand teachers are fired for dispelling myths (Santa), yet are jailed for perpetuating other myths (holocaust revisionists). The point of teaching is to challenge young minds - either both of these events need to be deplored, or both accepted.

Re:Lets fire those who teach the holocaust happene (1)

asdir (1195869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26130585)

Though I agree that teachers should rather teach how to question things, and therefore should talk about controversial issues, I have to say your holocaust example is a bad example. It simply is not controversial, holocaust did happen.
Actually, what teachers should teach, and I think you agree, would prevent seeing the nonexistence of holocaust as merely a myth rather than the falsehood it is. Teachers should teach that good thinking requires fact checking, coherent thaught and questioning statements. And this is exactly why the Santa-teacher should not have been fired. she questioned an unfounded believe and did so on good grounds and (presumably) with no ill intend (although I guess that these rather abstract lessons might still be too hard on youngsters from primary schools).

Re:Lets fire those who teach the holocaust happene (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133339)

Well yes, the holocaust happened, but that doesn't stop some teachers from teaching that it didn't and in some places it actually is considered controversial. There are plenty of people in both America and the UK who honestly believe it never happened and rail when they hear about such 'lies' being taught in school. It doesn't help things that over the last few decades schools have been caught teaching official lies (Gulf of Tonkin being an example) which gives a lot of ammunition to the holocaust deniers.

uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26127459)

Where did she teach? At the North Pole? That's pretty retarded.

Re:uhhh (1)

asdir (1195869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26130593)

Actually, what is retarded here is your stupid joke.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26131611)

I think we (the non-homosexual majority) are actually more sick of you "innocence stealers" than you are of us "child nurturers." Who the **** do you think you are that you think it's your business to shatter the innocent dreams of a child?I believe it is people like you, far left winger (probably homosexual) liberals that are to blame for so many of the problems the world has today. A child has no business worrying if Santa is a real person or a mythical character. Children are supposed to remain children

I remember when I was 7... (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135603)

and we had our first Christmas at school. My peers in the class were all talking about this dude Santa... when I got home I asked my dad that my class mates got their presents from a dude called Santa... My dad replied... "Son you get you presents from me and your mom. End of story."

Yes as a catholic the whole St. Claus is VERY different if taught the right way.

In any event I for one like the truth approach rather than some mumbo jumbo wool over my eyes carp.

Lying is never good but it is even worse to lie to kids. One just sets them up for one huge disappointment when they have to fly with their own wings later in life.

Re:I remember when I was 7... (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135631)

Maybe I should have a sticker on my car with flashy catchy font saying

"SANTA IS DEAD!!!"

fire the parents... (1)

qcomp (694740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26138477)

too bad that one cannot fire the parents that tell weird stories to their kids (which is fine) and wantto sell these fabricated and highly unbelievable stories to be accepted as truth (which is a crime against the intelligence of their kids).
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