A substitute teacher was fired for telling first graders at a New Jersey school that Santa Claus isn’t real.
Cedar Hill School in Montville sent an apology letter to parents, many of whom expressed outrage on social media, after the incident occurred Nov. 29, reported NJ.com.
USA Today reported Montville Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar said the teacher “is no longer working in the school district.”
The school’s principal, Michael J. Raj, did not identify the teacher in the letter to parents. But he said he had spoken with her “regarding her poor judgement (sic) in making this proclamation.”
“As a father of four myself, I am truly aware of the sensitive nature of this announcement,” Raj said.
The principal explained he was informing parents “so that you are aware of the situation and if the conversation comes up at home over the next few days you can take appropriate steps to maintain the childhood innocence of the holiday season.”
The superintendent, Rovtar, said she was “troubled and disheartened by this incident.”
“The childhood wonder associated with all holidays and traditions is something I personally hold near and dear in my own heart,” Rovtar said.
NJ.com later reported the teacher didn’t stop at debunking Santa.
She also dismissed as fake the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Elf on a Shelf and even leprechauns, according to Rovtar.
Rovtar explained the controversy began with a writing assignment in which a student wrote that Santa is real.
After dismissing Santa, the students wanted to know about other cultural icons.
“She proceeded to debunk all of it,” Rovtar said.