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Teacher Tells Student He Can’t Dress as Santa Because Santa is White

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A young man and his family are outraged after a teacher told him that he can’t dress as Santa because Santa Clause is white.  His father says that he is going to push until the teacher is punished.

The Rio Rancho School District in New Mexico says that the teacher has been disciplined, but according to KRQE.COM, the teacher is still employed by the school.

“This morning is when we put up the Christmas tree,” Michael Rougier said. “It’s a very big deal to Christopher.”

Christopher Rougier, according to his dad, has had his holiday spirits dampened by the teacher’s remarks.  He has autism, and doesn’t even want to help the family decorate the tree.   His father says that the remarks have upset him and he isn’t interested in Christmas like he used to be.

“Today, he chose to go to Sunday school instead of put the tree up,” said Michael Rougier.

The way it all went down, according to the family, is that the teacher took issue with Christopher’s Santa Clause costume.   That’s when the teacher told him that he shouldn’t be wearing those clothes.

“Santa Claus is white, what’re you doing wearing that?” Michael’s father says that the teacher stated to his son, who is a freshman at the school.

Michael says that he heard about the incident from another parent, which is what led him to call the school outraged.

“This is racial in its context and that’s my issue right now,” Michael Rougier said.

The district says that the teacher told them his side of the story and apologized to the family.  But the family doesn’t want to hear it.   The father wants the teacher to be fired.

“I don’t believe that this man needs to be teaching children,” he said.

“My children cannot fight for themselves. I’m that person that has to do it. I will use any and all tools necessary at my disposal to do that.”

What do you think?  Should the teacher be fired for this or is the family overreacting?  If so, what kind of punishment is appropriate?  Is there any way to imagine the teacher saying those words without meaning them in a harmful way?