Saturday, October 16, 2010

No You DID NOT Say That To My Grandson?!

Why would a teacher tell a six year old child that there is no Santa Clause? I don't know about you, but...

Today I am doing sommething a little different. I am posting a letter I wrote to a teacher of my grandson. I have not sent it yet, so I am reaching out to see if you agree or disagree. Here it goes:


I am a father and a grandfather, and in such, my children confide in me their problems and those of their children. I'll never stop being dad. Yet, although I’ve lived a little, going through struggles along the way, acquiring bits of wisdom in my journey, I too sometimes, in my heart, and mind, sometimes humbly, yet sometimes gracelessly, have to reach out to others for answers on issues that are disturbing my soul.

Having said that, my daughter, who’s son in in your class, called me with hurt in her voice, in a sense, expressing the confusion she witnessed in her son. She was perplexed over an issue that occurred between you and her son, my grandson. See did not know how to address the issue without allowing her emotions to control her.

But first, there's a related distinction between an emotion and the results of that emotion. And, of course, there’s a beginning and ending to most of them. Some, like “surprised”, is fleeting. On the other hand, love can last forever. But today, this issue is more about the hurt, pain and harm you’ve inflected upon our family. Well, when you emotionally disturb a child or treat them in an insensitive manner, that encounter has a domino affect, which takes me to the following matter.

It’s been alleged that on 17 November 2010, you told my grandson and his classmates, who are six years old, that there was no Santa Clause. On the surface that may not seem like a cruel event, yet, at the very least it’s an unusual action by a professional who should understand, regardless of their own personal views, that is not their call.

More importantly, do you understand the joy you’ve taken from this child, and his possible sense of loss? Not to mention that you’ve now put his mother in a position of being a liar. What right do you have to do such?

I believe it’s paramount that you understand that for several hours of a day and several days of the year, you hold the emotional wellbeing of young impressionable children, who, hopefully, look up to you and “should” respect your every word. Consequently, if the allegations are true, we now find ourselves at the aftermath.

Based on the previous issue and compounded with another recent issue involving my grandson, Carey B, I am left to wonder if this is an isolated incident, or do we have bigger issues that other parents should be made aware of?

As I understand it, you told Carey and his mother that they should bring his birthday treats on 5 November 2010. They worked late into the night preparing brownies for Carey’s personal day of joy. Much like Christmas, children look forward to those days in which they can share their happiness. On the morning of his special day, his mother remembers the smile on his face as he walked into his classroom with the pride of a lion. Unfortunately, that afternoon, upon her return to his school, she saw her little boy sadden and with tears in his eyes. He had been told, by you, to take his brownies back home because there was not enough time to pass them out.

Now, we have more questions:

1. Is there a Tooth Fairy that rewards the passage from baby teeth to big kids teeth, and a Bunny Rabbit that brings Easter Eggs? If not, who’s responsible to tell the children all the intricate details of those rights of passage?

2. Is this environment, your environment and your personal views, safe for my grandson and other young children?

3. Is this a situation other parents should be aware of?

4. Do you have personal issues with Carey or his mother?

At this time, we are requesting a meeting with you, the school’s principle and superintendent, to address and discuss these issues and more. Where do we go from here?

What is the school’s policy on a teacher voicing their personal opinions on other sensitive topics such as religion, sex, and race, particularly, and especially when considering young impressionable minds?

We are concerned and troubled by the moral, emotional and ethical issue that lay before us.


Okay yawl, what do you think?

Would your emotions have run wild if you were confronted with this issue?

Some have said they would have taken off work and preceded straight to the school.

Is this not a big deal?

What words would you have used?

What demands (if any) would you request?

Would you be upset?

One of his aunts called me back 5 times to vent her anger.

What about you, what would you do?


Joanna said...

see, now it is bad enough that children who do not believe in Santa want to tell all the kids who do still believe that Santa is not real, but it is just cruel for a teacher to do it!

i remember when i was in first grade, a little boy in class kept telling me santa was not real. so I asked my mother, and she asked me if i BELIEVED santa was real. I told her yes, so she said, "well, the santa is real!" It was probably about a year later that I realized the truth. but i applaud my mother for allowing me to believe.

when i was in the church choir, i met a girl my age who believed in santa, i NEVER dreamed of shattering her dreams! I hate when adults think that kids need to be treated as mini adults instead of as children. Damn, let a child believe in magic for a while!

DF said...

Teach the damn class! My letter to her would've been a hell of a lot worse because no one is asking for you to help my child grow up.

While you are a better wordsmith than me by far... I know my two sentences would've made her question her faith...

1) Who the F*ck are you... the Pope to teach my kid anything but what is in those books. Did Santa come up in Curious George or something?

2) This is my child not yours so when I choose to let them know about life will be at my discretion. Don't make the same mistake twice as the first time is a warning the second is a promise.

On the other hand Carey get your kids from seeing some Old White Man as the reason for the season. He's unnecessary and just makes your child see a white man as the great giver instead of his own mother.

Enjoy your day.... Freeman

CareyCarey said...

My man the Freeman, you know I've been missing you.

But man, you're crackin' me up over here. Your choice of words were brilliant. Between me and you, I did have similar thoughts. I kid you not. While I was writing the letter, and stopping at a period, I voiced those same sentiments, they just didn't make it to paper. And see, that's why I asked for advice on this... was I too soft or too strong?

Btw, we, this house, my daughter's house, has not seen a white santa in many moons. My Grandson sits in the lap of a big black smiling santa, when he's not too scared to do so.

Hello Joanna, I see you're still blasting them out at your spot. You and RiPPa got a thang going on. You know he's a married man *chuckle*

In reference to the "other" kids, I have two brothers and they never told me and I never told anyone that I knew. Are you kidding me. I noticed at a fairly young age that when a child admits he knows there is no Santa, the toys slow down. So I am still asking the question, is there really a Santa Claus?

Yes sir, let a child believe in magic, life is a mean game.

Big Mark 243 said...

Some pronoun changes and this letter should be directed to the superintendent of schools, at the very least, the offending teacher's principal. If this person is capable of the incidents you describe here, it should not be a stretch to say that she is not a good teacher and should not be in the profession.

In fact, getting her fired would be doing her a favor. She could find herself a more worthwhile and potentially lucrative career doing something else.

Good letter. The teacher lacks a sense of place and responsibility. It would not be a vendetta to get this person fired. It would be 'right'.

CareyCarey said...

Big Mark, you always seem to come with the real thang. I did send a copy to the prinsiple and the superintendent. I had concerns about her losing her job, so I wanted her to be prepared. I mean, I am assuming she's young and teaching is a ruff job, so maybe this can be a defining moment that will eventually make her a better teacher.

We all make mistakes. I just don't want it to happen again. On a side note, I did a post about the apple not falling fall from the tree. Well, maybe her childhood was not filled with joyous occasions/memories of Christmas, so she may not be able to relate to the happiness/joy that some children experience during that season. She may even have religious beliefs that's contrary to Santa Claus. I'm just trying to get it out on the table. Who knows, the school may even agree with her position?

A.Smith said...

I think my letter would've been pretty simple...

"Who does that?"

But I like this. Someone should see it at that school, for sure. If not the superintendent, at least the principal.

In fact, Carey, I like that you wanted to direct it to the teacher. I know it's the American way to go straight to the top, but I've worked in bureaucracy and I can tell you that unless you personally know whoever is at the top, it's a waste of your time. Takes longer to get to whomever it was supposed to go to. Send it to the teacher and cc the principal. If that doesn't yield the results you're looking for, then take it on.

Oh and what are your thoughts on involving your daughter in the letter -- especially since she interfaces more frequently with the school. Then again, this may be exactly why you want to send the letter from yourself in lieu of her.

To the topic, though, this is tragic. I'm actually the one who told my cousin Santa wasn't real when were about 6 or 7. My mom never let me believe in Santa Claus (she thought allowing me to think a fat white man brought me gifts when she was the one working her behind off was ludicrous). One Christmas we spent at my aunt's and to get my cousin to go to bed she told him Santa wouldn't come until he did so. I thought he was an idiot for believing it, so I told him. He didn't believe me, so it was ok, but in hindsight what wretched thing to do to a child. There's no reason for it and I surely would like to know the teacher's reasoning.

2cute4u said...

I think the letter would do;
I can't take it lightly if my son/daughter comes home feeling disgruntled and insecure because some teacher didn't do his/her job right.. No sir!

CareyCarey said...

Ashley, I actually did what you said. I didn't want my concerns (letter) stuck in file 13, so I addressed it to the teacher and cc'd several others. That way, I know I rattled a few cages. That mess is going to roll down hill because everybody is watching. As you know, some things don't happen unless there's someone looking over someone's back. No consequences, no action. The teacher saw the CC's so she has to make her move first. I gave her a chance to get her ducks in a row before the boss comes calling.

In reference to my daughter, you're correct, she's my daughter, so like her father, she can... ah... vent. like I said in the post, she called her daddy so she would not act a damn fool.

You said "My mom never let me believe in Santa Claus (she thought allowing me to think a fat white man brought me gifts when she was the one working her behind off was ludicrous)"

That's EXACTLY what my grandson's father said (what his mother said). Now that he's around our family, he looks at it in a different light.

Check this, this morning my daughter called, she worked it out with her son by asking him if his teacher was married and had children. When he said no, they found a solution. "HE" said, that's probably why she (the teacher) does not know anything about Santa Claus. Can you believe that! He (my grandson) found the solution. Heck, how could she know anything about Santa Claus, if he never has to stop by her house. Kids are smarter than we think. *big smile*

I'm waiting patiently to see how this plays out. He might have to school his teacher on a few things. And, like father, like daughter like grandson, he can run his mouth with the best of them. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

@ 2cute4you, as you know, I read your blog, so I wonder how you would have handled this? Let me count the ways....

Mizrepresent said...

You and your daughter have every right to be angry about this situation. The teacher clearly overstepped. The letter should be sent to the Principal, teacher and School Board as well.

Moanerplicity said...

Childhood is a very limited window in our lives. NO ONE has the right to abuse it, deflate, belittle or to inject their adult sensibilities into that world of wonder, imagination & innocence.

It's a great letter, Carey.

Sometimes just writing a letter & venting can clear the cobwebs & even help to rid us of a very real & valid anger. Often the act of writing it cures us of our stuff to the point where we no longer feel a need to send it off to its intended target.

However, in this case, I hope you DO send it.

This teacher needs to be READ out loud! It's not a teacher's place to destroy a child's fantasy world!

The Real World will do that in its own time.


2cute4u said...

Do you want me to take it up on my blog?

Reggie said...

Carey I hated lying to my children about Santa Claus. There were so many times I wanted to tell them myself. There was something unseeming to me about lying to them.

Just doing it left a bad taste in my mouth.

One things for sure though. If the teacher had time to talk about this, I would hope that they had already taught everything else and then some.