Elementary school teacher tells second graders Santa Claus isn’t real
posted at 1:27 pm on December 3, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. That was the brutally frank op-ed that a politically correct elementary school teacher delivered to her second-grade class during a lesson about the North Pole.
The teacher, whose name has been withheld (I think it is “Ms. Grinch”), received a blizzard of complaints from parents of students enrolled at George W. Miller Elementary School in Nanuet, New York. The New York Post quotes one parent as saying:
If her brothers told her [there was no Santa], they would be punished. So I can’t imagine what should happen to the teacher.
Another said, “It’s outrageous that a teacher would strip a child of their innocence and try and demystify something.”
The demystification occurred during a geography lesson, when students—mostly 7- and 8-year-olds—told the teacher they knew where on the map the North Pole was because that’s where Santa lives. She countered by asserting that the presents under their trees were put out by the kiddies’ parents, not St. Nick.
The comparatively minor episode is just the latest in a misguided campaign mounted by well-intentioned buttinskys to take the child out of childhood. The most famous of these self-styled crusaders is First Lady Michelle Obama, who, between junk food attacks, finds time to preach about the dangers of such national menaces as school bake sales.
But Mrs. Obama is hardly alone in her efforts to save children from themselves, nor is she the first. For over a decade our nation’s schools have worked overtime to shape and direct—rather than educate—our children. So much time is devoted to molding these young charges into future contributors to society that there is scarcely time to teach them anything. A California elementary school teacher, writing at Eutopia (the website of the George Lucas Educational Foundation), lamented:
There is no kindergarten. It has gone the way of the little red wagon and mud pies. The time when children learned how to go to school, how to use a tricycle, or wait their turn on the swing is gone. These were important skills—vital to success in the grades to come. We do not have time to teach them now. We have worksheets that need completing. We have take-home books to copy and homework packets to staple. We have accountability.
Getting back to Ms. Grinch, one of the people who reacted to the teacher’s reality sandwich was 69-year-old Mary Blair, whose grandmother was Virginia O’Hanlon (the Virginia). Blair told the Post:
My grandmother was a teacher for years, and I don’t think she ever had a problem answering that [Santa question].
The most real things in the world are things that you don’t see or touch, and they are the things that mean the most—love, kindness and generosity.
Amen to that, Mary.
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