Skip to comments.Secret Santa banished from Newburyport school
Posted on 12/21/2011 12:37:25 PM PST by raccoonradio
NEWBURYPORT A Secret Santa gift exchange has always been a popular tradition observed in Kathleen Petrie's elementary school classroom, but the jolly old elf is not welcome at Molin Upper Elementary School this year.
Principal Lorene Marx ended the Christmas-themed celebration out of deference to those students who don't celebrate the Christian holiday, St. Nicholas and his flying reindeer. And at least one parent is upset about the loss of the beloved holiday icon.
"I think it is punishing the majority to possibly help a very few," said David Logan, a parent of a child in Petrie's classroom. "I was raised by a Jewish mom, and I see no reason to ban the practice. Why hurt the majority for a few? Don't you think they'll understand?"
In a letter sent out to parents on Dec. 15, Petrie sought to explain the new Secret Santa ban to parents.
"I am soooo sorry to report that we are not allowed to have a Secret Santa in the classroom this year," wrote Petrie. "Mrs. Marx, the principal, asked that we not participate due to the students in the school who do not celebrate Christmas. I completely understand and appreciate the work she is doing to keep all 5th-grade classrooms consistent and on the same page. Sorry for any trouble or disappointment this may have caused."
When reached by phone yesterday, Marx said that the ban was strictly for her school, which serves fourth- and fifth-graders in the district, but the measure should probably be discussed as one the entire district might adopt.
"It's for the school now," Marx said. "It's probably something that needs to be talked about. Many districts have district-wide policies on these things."
Marx said there have been no parent complaints about the gift exchange. She said that her decision was not based solely on the knowledge that not all children in the school celebrate Christmas, though that was one reason.
"We said no classes would be doing Secret Santa for a whole host of reasons," Marx said. "Most schools now are not doing things like that, specifically around Santa Claus in a public school, because there's more diversity and not every student participates in that at home."
She also cited concerns for parents who might not be able to afford a gift for their child's classmates and a desire to create equity among the classrooms, since not all classes participated in the program. Molin offers many other opportunities for students to celebrate the holiday season, she said.
"The kids are having holiday celebrations on the Friday before vacation," Marx said. "The Molin students had their first band and choral concert in early December, and they are presenting for their fellow students. It's not all Christmas songs, though. There are events for students to celebrate the holidays, but not necessarily Santa-type events, and not necessarily Santa or people having to buy things."
But citing the fact that the Newburyport Teachers Association recently joined several other civic organizations in organizing the 39th annual Santa Claus Parade through Newburyport, Logan contends that schools are sending mixed messages to the children.
"Why be a part of the parade and not allow a class celebration?" he asked. "Does that seem congruent?"
Diversity—but don’t include anything Christian. Accept
everyone but them. “Tolerate” everyone but them.
Caller to Howie Carr radio show said up in Maine they had a proposal to send Christmas presents to the troops. ONE parent complained. But...(happy ending) the school said don’t like
it, get a lawyer and good luck. The program went on, the
“Secret Pal” substituted for Secret Santa...
While this principal is doing this for all the wrong reasons and is turning her school into a PC cesspool, it doesn’t bother me that a school would ban “Secret Santa” gift exchanges in classrooms. It probably isn’t appropriate to turn gift giving into a classroom event. If a kid wants to give his friend a gift, he can do it, but it shouldn’t be a classroom activity.
Secret Pal sounds like Captain Howdy.
But those who want to celebrate a on the QT Kwanza is alright......
*Just Another A**hole With Power
More likely just the PC trembles.
Grouchy, Harpy, Zippy or Karl?
Betcha the non-Christian kids liked the tradition, too.
obama christmas carol
I think "Secret Jesus" could be fun.
“And at least one parent is upset about the loss of the beloved holiday icon.”
This parent should start an event of his/her own and not just submit to this idiocy.
Hold it across the street after school. Make it fantastic.
or Jerry Sandusky’s nickname.
When someone says Happy Holidays to you, you can point out the original meaning of Holiday:
“And happy HOLY Days to you!”
Lady, does the 'non-christians' includes Terrorists (aka Muslims)? Do they have a place to pray? If so, you are a LIBERAL A***OLE!!!
parents need to hold a private Christmas party and invite all kids who want to participate
screw the skewl and the offended can skip it
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."
Get used to it, pal. BTW, Dave, you didn't happen to vote for obama last election us there in MA, did you?
I bet the principal has every intention that the school celebrate Lenin’s birthday — aka Earth Day.
I live in Newburyport Mass, I’m from Illinois, when I arrived here I called it whiteworld, there IS no diversity. Seeing anybody here other than a white person is actually shocking. So the assertion by this principal that they’re trying to adhere to some diversity program is complete BS, diversity in Newburyport means teaching your kids that there will be a few evil conservatives in school with you who want to take all the money from the poor people.