Substitute Tells A Room Full Of First Graders Santa Isn't Real

by Julie Scagell
Mike Arney/Unsplash

A Brooklyn teacher has been fired after telling an entire first-grade class that Santa Claus isn’t real.

Parents at a Brooklyn elementary school got more than they ever bargained for when their kids came home from school last week — many in tears. The kids, some as young as five years old, said their substitute teacher told them Santa wasn’t real. Apparently, the teacher dropped this information on students while giving them a lesson about “convincing” people about things. Parents were understandably outraged.

“It’s three weeks before Christmas,” one mother told News 12 Brooklyn. “These kids are 6 years old.” If that wasn’t enough, this sub decided to embody both The Grinch and Scrooge by also throwing in that the Tooth Fairy was a figment of their imagination, too. “People are mad. That’s not his decision to make,” one dad fumed to the The New York Post while picking up his child at the Park Slope school Friday. Another parents said, “There were warning signs. My daughter had him last year. He’s said some inappropriate things. He had weird nicknames for the kids, to remember their names.”

The school district was quick to act, banning the teacher from coming back to teach at the school. In a letter to parents, the principal of P.S. 321, Liz Phillips, told parents she’s taking the matter very seriously. “I am extremely upset that the substitute teacher told the children that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are not real. This discussion was completely inappropriate to have in school with first graders,” she wrote in the letter. “It was a terrible lapse of judgment on his part, and it never should have happened. I guarantee you that this substitute will not be in class 1-216 again. We take this very seriously.”

I can tell you with rage powered by the fire of 1,000 suns if this happened in my child’s classroom, heads would roll. These parents have every right to be upset. It is no one’s job to talk to their children about anything of this nature. The holidays are a time for magic and believing, no matter what a kid’s age. The fact that these were five and six year olds makes it even more infuriating. Hopefully thanks to the school’s quick actions, this man will never be allowed in a classroom with kids again.

This isn’t the first time a teacher has ruined Christmas for kids but each time it happens, you have to wonder what on Earth would possess them to do so. Not every child believes in Santa, but it’s up to the parents or caregivers to decide how and when that information is shared. You expect some kids to be assholes and ruin it for other kids, but teachers — that’s another ballgame altogether.

Phillips says she will investigate the situation further but for now, the sub is being kept far away from students.