City school says sorry after telling kids Santa isn't real
A HEADTEACHER has been forced to apologise to parents after a primary school teacher told her class that Santa did not exist.
Jo Hopkins, a teacher at James Gillespie's Primary School in Marchmont, made the blunder last week as children were enjoying the last few days of class before the end of term. It is understood that the primary five class was having a discussion about the three kings when a child challenged the teacher that Father Christmas was not real.
Mrs Hopkins is said to have agreed, causing upset among other pupils. One parent, who did not want to be named, said: "Mrs Hopkins told her P5 class of nine-year-olds that Santa Claus does not exist, and that it is their parents who buy them all the presents.
"As you can imagine, the children were distraught and one child has even shouted at her parents that they have lied to her for years. Several younger siblings were witness to this.
"I do not know what possessed Mrs Hopkins – a lady who must be nearing retirement age and with a family of her own. The headteacher is dealing with our complaints, but our trust in this teacher has very much been diminished."
The head at the school in Whitehouse Loan, Anthea Grierson, is understood to have apologised to parents for the slip-up. A council spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the situation and it has been dealt with by the school. The teacher did not intend to upset or offend her pupils or their families."
Chairman of the school's parent council, Gavin Neilson, said: "It does sound strange. Most parents would expect their kids to find out about Santa at school but not from their teachers. The schools are now on holiday but I'm sure it will be looked into when they reopen. It has been confined to that class at least, so that's something."
Mrs Hopkins last night said she did not wish to comment, but that she had been in contact with the school's headteacher about the matter.
Earlier this month a supply teacher was reported to have been banned from Blackshaw Lane Primary School in Oldham after telling a class of seven-year-olds Santa didn't exist. The teacher is thought to have lost her temper as children in the class grew rowdy, and blurted out the un-festive tidings.
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