Santa Claus has been ousted from an elementary school's winter concert series, ending a long tradition at the Andrew Peabody School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The crux of Principal Jennifer Ford's letter: “I am writing to you today to inform you of a change in our concert series this winter. Our First through Fourth grade concert as well as our Kindergarten concert will not include a visit from Santa Claus this year.”
Ford's letter was sent home to parents on Thursday — the day before the events, WBZ-TV reported.
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Robert Thompson has two kids in the school. He said the concert traditionally closed with Santa running through the aisle. He said the decision to remove Santa was based on a complaint.
“I don’t think it’s right, and I know a lot of people agree with me,” Thompson told WBZ. “It seems like that’s what’s going on in America – the squeaky wheel gets oil. It’s a shame.”
[sharequote align="center"]“I don’t think it’s right, and I know a lot of people agree with me."[/sharequote]
Mohammed Hassan told the station he doesn't view Santa as a religious symbol: “Kids like that, it’s fun for kids, which is good,” he said.
Rachel Begley told WBZ "it’s a shame we can’t all celebrate each other’s cultures and Santa is a big part of Christmas-time.”
But Himabraya Ashar noted that some parents may not want ol' Saint Nick at a school event: “We have other ways of exposing our kids to Santa Claus,” he told WBZ.
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The principal’s letter did say Santa will make an appearance at the end of a family sing-along on December 23rd. Parents can opt their kids out of the event.
Thompson said he’s not offended if other cultures are added to the concert. He thinks sacking Santa is wrong.
School principal Jennifer Ford would not comment. The city superintendent did not return requests for comment.