A kindergarten in France has cancelled its annual visit from Santa Claus. School administrators say tight finances are to blame, but parents don’t believe them. They’re certain that the exclusion of Santa is an attempt to placate Muslims, and they’re up in arms about the decision.
Many thanks to Hermes for translating this article from RTL.fr:
Kindergarten children in Loiret deprived of visit by Father Christmas
This is a story that keeps the mood boiling at a kindergarten in Montargis-Loiret. With the holiday season approaching, the headmistress decided to cancel the ritual visit of Father Christmas to the classrooms. Official reason: financial problems. Stunned parents charge that it was instead on religious grounds.
The headmistress gave in?
For some parents with children in the Grand Clos kindergarten, there is no doubt that the reason for the cancellation of the visit of the white-bearded man in the red suit is of a “religious” kind. A mother declared on Wednesday in Le Parisien — Today in France that: “The director told me she did not want her wrist to be slapped by some Muslim families,” she said.
The problem was confirmed by the Deputy Mayor of Montargis, who is responsible for matters concerning children. He adds that “each year, families threaten to boycott the school in the day of Santa’s visit.” The director gave in. For some, “this is too much.” It is, according to them, the “Islamization of a school.”
“It is an error”, was the reply from the Academy of Orléans-Tours. “It makes no sense, this is a misinterpretation.” Officially, the reason for cancelling the arrival of Santa at this small school is of a financial nature. The decision was made on October 26, during the school council’s meeting.
While still facing controversy, the mayor of Montargis requested an explanation from the Academy, as well as from the directive board of the kindergarten. He reminded everyone that Father Christmas is a pagan tradition with no religious connotations
For her part, the director told “La République du Centre” that: “This was hellish,” she said, her eyes reddened. “Incredible harm has been done to the school and the children.” She announced her intention to file a complaint.