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Teacher disciplined for 'Santa is white' remark

New Mexico Teacher Tells Student 'Santa Is White'


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico high school teacher has been disciplined after a parent says the man told his black son that Santa Claus is white.

Officials at the school in Rio Rancho, about 15 miles north of Albuquerque, announced Friday that the teacher recently was disciplined for his comments to the student, but they declined to say how, KOB-TV reported (http://goo.gl/GYqcJr).

The move came after students at Cleveland High School were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.

Michael Rougier said his ninth-grade son, Christopher, arrived wearing a Santa hat and beard, and the teacher asked the boy: "Don't you know Santa Clause is white? Why are you wearing that?"

The teacher's name was not released, and attempts by The Associated Press to reach school officials Saturday were unsuccessful.

Michael Rougier said the teacher's comments enraged him.

"There's no room for that in the classroom," he said. "Whether this teacher felt Christopher may have been wearing this out of context, there's no room for it. There's just no room for it."

The incident happened the same week that Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly said on the air that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Her comments drew national attention and prompted a slew of heated comments on blogs and social media sites.

A spokesman for Rio Rancho Public Schools said the Cleveland High School teacher knows he made a "dumb" mistake and has since apologized to the Rougier family.

Michael Rougier said he still has concerns. "If he has that attitude, how is it affecting students, studies, grading habits, trending toward Caucasian kids?" Rougier said of the teacher.

The teacher still works at Cleveland, but Christopher has been removed from his class, KOB-TV reported.

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madchemep2 December 16 2013 at 7:44 PM

The kid is probably taking this further than it should go. The teacher certainly has a strong deficit in people skills. He should accept retraining if he wants to continue teaching, but in some other school. The student should not be removed from his class unless it has become too uncomfortable. As someone else pointed out, life is not all smooth sailing. This was not an especially large bump in the road, He'll most likely see worse.

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royjoneswolf62 December 16 2013 at 1:58 PM

Santa, Jesus and God have no color. They just are!

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1 reply
Steve royjoneswolf62 December 16 2013 at 2:06 PM

LOL... sorta like the invisible man?

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rxpharmd December 16 2013 at 1:58 PM

This is a silly argument. Although the original St. Nicholas was a Christain Saint and Greek Bishop, we have some idea of his race being that he was from a region that is today part of modern day Turkey. He is now considered a mythical being that flys around in a sleigh giving out presents. He can be whatever color you picture him to be in your head.

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frgs1 December 16 2013 at 8:49 PM

Actually I got new for all of you. Santa is Chinese !!!! Since they make a high percentage of toys and everything else this country consumes AND THEY own a hefty chunk of US treasury bonds in other words they own our white behinds THEY have a say so in this matter Don't you think??? but I betcha they are smarter than us and not worrying about dumb stuff. They probably are laughing on how we become more dumber by the minute in that way they can own us more than they do now so lets keep discussing and debating about Santa being white the good and challenging real important issues.

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Gail and Dee December 16 2013 at 1:57 PM

Santa Claus is white if you mean some form of St. Nicholas, then he was Greek and Jesus, he was a Jew, a Semite. Caucasian, yes. The way the teacher said it, white...no. Anyone can embody the spirit of St. Nicholas and Jesus: white, black, Jew, Gentile, Muslim, Hindu!

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laurappl2 December 16 2013 at 1:56 PM

Although I am caucasian-----What the teacher said is totally out of line. There should be no line drawn between white & Black-----that is the reason there is so much violence and what have you going on in this country.

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daxcess2 December 16 2013 at 1:54 PM

This is nuts! How long before schools outlaw Santa? Or Christmas altogether?

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rosiesgal29 December 16 2013 at 1:53 PM

SANTA CAN BE ANY COLOR OR RACE YOU WANT JUSTLIKE WE HAVE MADE DOLLS OF ALL COLORS. JESUS WAS CAUCASIAN WHICH DOESNT ALWAYS MEAN WHITE. JESUS WAS COLORED LIKE AN HAWIAN IS TODAY. THATS FROM WHERE HE WAS BORN ISREAL AND NAZARETH pAKISTANI PEOPLE ARE CONSIDERED CAUCASIAN

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mtpujol December 16 2013 at 1:51 PM

Hey Santa was white, Jesus at his lightest was pretty dark, get used to it.

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egs2265 December 16 2013 at 1:51 PM

Santa is whoever your dad is. If your father is African American, then he is black, if your dad is Asian American, then guess what, Santa is Asian. Don't tell these children what color Santa is, they know.

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