How do you imagine your children finding out that Santa isn’t real? Maybe, as they’re getting a bit older and asking questions, you’ll sit them down, look into their eyes and gently, sensitively explain the spirit of Christmas?
Or maybe a substitute teacher will come in and announce to your child’s Year 1 class that Santa isn’t real, neither is the Easter Bunny, and there’s NO SUCH THING AS MAGIC. AT ALL.
That’s what happened to Lisa Simek’s daughter Emilia and her class in New Jersey last Friday. Simek took to Facebook to explain what had happened.
“A substitute teacher asked the kids which holiday was coming up, and when somebody answered ‘Christmas,’ she proceeded to just completely unleash on them,” Simek wrote. “She told them Santa isn’t real and parents just buy presents and put them under their tree. She told them reindeer can’t fly and elves are not real – Elf on the Shelf is just a pretend doll that your parents move around.”
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The substitute teacher didn’t stop there.
“The Tooth Fairy is not real because Mum or Dad just sneak into your room in the middle of the night and put money under your pillow,” Simek continued. “Same goes for the Easter Bunny. She told them magic does not exist. There is no such thing as magic anything.
“A grown woman tried to crush our six-year-old’s spirit, along with the spirits of the other 22 kids.”
Simek said she and the other parents were doing “damage control”.
“But coming from an adult, this is definitely the kind of seed that was planted deep inside of their sceptical, perceptive and inquisitive minds,” she added. “Praying for a Christmas magic miracle to keep these kids believers for as long as possible.”
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The people who responded to the post were, mostly, horrified. Many called for the teacher to be fired, or banned from ever working with children again. Some said she must have a “mental issue” and should be sent to therapy. Several suggested that a lawsuit might be the way to go.
Others gave advice about what Simek should say her to her child.
“I would have told my six-year-old that the teacher was lying and that she was a bad person,” said one.