Last week, a kindergarten teacher at Austin's Pease Elementary School ("the oldest continuously operating school in the state of Texas," nbd) ruined Christmas for her five-year-old students in a particularly dick-ish manner.
"None of you believe in Santa, do you?" the Grinch-like teacher, identified only as "Mrs. Fueller," reportedly asked her class before telling them Santa was a lie and their parents were responsible for all the presents under their tree.
After one parent heard about the incident, she complained to other parents at the school. As it turns out, another parent experienced a similar issue with a different teacher at Pease Elementary, which is apparently a breeding ground for Santa-hating educators.
Reportedly, this second teacher had asked her students to draw two pictures on a piece of paper, one of something real and one of something imaginary. One student who drew Santa in the "real" column was quickly reprimanded by the teacher, who calmly explained to her class that Saint Nick wasn't real.
As you might expect, parents at the school were pissed.
"To break that harsh reality to them in such a brutal way is just wrong," [one] mom said. "Especially since these kids are five. She is just really getting into Santa."
The same mom later wrote a message about the incident on Facebook: "Another adult has no right to submit their own beliefs on a group of 5 year olds and their families - about Santa, God, politics or whatever - especially phrased 'your belief is not right.'"
The school's principal told parents he was "horrified" and that he had reprimanded the teachers by giving them the "tools to deal with this situation" in the future. It's not clear what he meant by "tools," but presumably they include advice on how not to be an asshole.
As for the students, they seem to be recovering, or one student, at least. When her parents told her she was free to choose to believe what she wanted, she replied, "I want to believe in Santa."