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 What would you do? 
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Question: (this is more for elementary but I'd like anyones view)
What would you do if a parent came to you and said, during Christmas time they want nothing related to Santa Claus to be put up or discussed in the classroom. They only teach their child the Christian side of Christmas and they will take the issue up with the administration if you do talk about Santa.

I ask because this happened to a teacher friend of mine one year and I want to know how you guys would handle it.

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Kathleen Dahl


Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:27 pm
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As a music educator, it is very easy to teach "Christian based music" because of the fact that there was a huge era that most music created, and recorded, was for the church. So naturally a Christmas Concert would most likely include a few Christian melodies. But the Santa issue... could also be explained as an integral part of a students education. "Sleigh Ride" is played at most Christmas Concerts, though it does not deal with Santa directly it could be considered that way. There are certainly ways that I could avoid the situation by not performing "Here Comes Santa Clause" and stick to winter themed and Christian themed music, but if a piece is chosen for the Christmas that does include Santa and the parents did not except the "integral part of a student's education" then I would ask the student, privately, to sit out on that tune.

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Drew O'Keefe


Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:10 am
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I'm really not sure what I would do. I would definitely want to be respectful of their beliefs, but I think I would explain that we are not only studying different religious practices during Christmas time, but different decorations and cultural beliefs. I would have to say as an educator that it is my job to give all students a diverse education. I would have the full support of my administrator too. But really, I feel like this is a close minded request and unfair to the rest of my students. I would not know what else to do.

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Kayla Danielle Keidel


Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:16 am
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Well that is hard to get around, I would ask the parent if they had a specific religion that the family followed. If they had none then I would try and work it out with the parent to help them understand that there is more than just their child in the class and that you want see that all children are given the same opportunity. By allowing that parent to "rule" the classroom then it is no longer fair for all students nor is it fair to the teacher/school. If you have a good administration then they should back your decision and help with the parent. I believe some parents get angry because they are not aware fully what happens in their child's classroom. Sometimes all it takes is for the teacher to listen to the parent and then explain their side and the educational significance that the material contains. At the very least the child could be excused from the room while that lesson is going on.

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Patrick Watkins


Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:07 pm
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I am Christian, and I was always told that Santa Claus was another name for St. Nicholas. Kathleen, I found this website for you, if you want to look at it. It's called Saint Nicholas: Discovering The Truth About Santa Claus. This website does a very good job explaining the connections between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus.

This is the link to the actual website:
http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=23

This is the link about who St. Nicholas was:
http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=38

And, this is the link about how St. Nicholas became Santa Claus:
http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=35

Kathleen, I hope that you will find that Santa Claus does have a Christian side (a very Christian side). I learned from this site that through history, St. Nick's story and image had evolved into the jolly, red man we know and love today. And, I have realized that the Christian aspect of Santa's being has been overlooked and/or slightly forgotten.

I hope this website helps! It's actually quite interesting!

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Ericka Griffin


Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:20 pm
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