Elementary class lesson on St. Nick sparks concern from parents

santa

Louisa County, Iowa (KWQC) –  With the holiday approaching, anticipation is building over the tradition of the big guy in the red suit. In one local school district, however, concerns are being raised over Santa Claus being discussed in class. Some children apparently went home upset after music class at Louisa-Muscatine Elementary this week, saying their teacher told them Santa does not exist. Parents are frustrated and are now taking concerns to the district.

“I am pretty steeped in tradition. I’d like to see them kind of enjoy it like I did as a kid, you know, the sense of wonder and stuff,” said David Wagner, a parent of three young children.

He’s one of many parents with kids at L-M Elementary who worry part of one class curriculum may be too much of a spoiler.

“They’ve said that a teacher did mention to some kindergarteners that there wasn’t no Santa Claus,” said Rick Criss, a grandfather to several children. “Sure it would be ruined. I can imagine it would be ruined for me.”

School leaders say several concerned parents have come forward and they investigated right away. The principal tells KWQC that it all stems from a lesson on secular and sacred music.

“The history lesson was just about St. Nicholas and stopped there,” said Principal Doug McBride.

It’s a discussion that might have led to more questions or possible misinterpretations from young minds. McBride says the teacher did not flat-out tell students that Santa does not exist. This isn’t the first time concerns like this have been raised though. Last year, McBride says the same teacher had a lesson on myths and realities.

“That was also taken care of and that has not been a problem since,” he added.

District leaders say they want to respect different family traditions and beliefs. From now on this particular lesson won’t be taught in the elementary classes.

“Articulation is very important and once in a while we might not articulate correctly and offend possibly,” said Superintendent Mike Van Sickle. “As we become even more multi-cultural we need to be sensitive of a lot of different things.”

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