Cleveland High School students were given permission to dress up as their favorite Christmas character to honor the spirit of the season.
Christopher, a ninth grader from Rio Rancho who also suffers from autism, decided to come to school dressed as Santa much as many of his classmates did.
Enter the school's resident racist Grinch.
"Christopher, don't you know Santa Claus is white? Why are you wearing that?" is what the teacher told the student, according to the teen's stepdad Michael Rougier.
"There's no room for that in the classroom," Rougier told KOB Eyewitness News 4.
The school district agreed.
According to a spokesperson for Rio Rancho Public Schools, the unnamed teacher self-reported the incident to officials after recognizing his "stupid mistake," and has been disciplined "appropriately."
He was also made to apologize to Christopher and his family.
But Rougier believes the damage has already been done, and will only get worse so long as the teacher remains at Cleveland High.
"If it's not for parents like me that's part of interracial families to say, it's time to stop this," said Rougier. "It's time to stop." Christopher has since been removed from the offending teacher's classroom at the family's request.