One fewer stop for Santa this year: He’s banned from Head Start classes in St. Peter

Santa Claus, as portrayed by Dennis Jackson, won’t be visiting students at the Head Start classes in St. Peter this year.

Jackson has made appearances the past four years at the classes for students who need help preparing for school, but this year officials said, “No, no, no.”

The reason: The classes have many immigrant children who don’t celebrate Christmas, says the Mankato Free Press.

Santa’s a little frosted, the paper says.

It kind of burnt me up,” he said.

The official explanation from Chris Marben, who coordinates regional Head Start programs through Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council: “We have Somali families in the program. We’re respecting the wishes of families in the program.”

She didn’t say how many objections were made, but said more than one would be enough to cancel Santa.

“The simple truth is that southern Minnesota has become a much more culturally diverse society than it was a few decades ago,” she told the paper. “Part of our challenge in Head Start is providing an environment where young children from many different cultures can all feel comfortable.”

Jackson said rather than depriving the rest of the group of the Santa experience, parents who object should take their kids out of the class during the half hour he spends talking to the kids and giving them candy.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by jim fisher on 12/18/2010 - 07:17 pm.

    “….but said that more than one (objection) would be enough to cancel Santa.” So by that (ill)logic, more than one objection to not having Santa should bring him back, right? The “rights” of the few trump the many, again. “We’re respecting the wishes of families in the program.” Really? What about the wishes of the families that wish to keep Santa? To borrow from Orwell- “The wishes of all families are equal, but the wishes of some families are more equal than others.”

  2. Submitted by Jen McJenny on 12/18/2010 - 09:32 pm.

    They refuse to offend “one” muslim and have no qualms about offending “many” Christians.

    That is your new “simple truth” that islam has brought to the US.

  3. Submitted by keller steven on 12/18/2010 - 11:25 pm.

    Better to ban Somali students rather than risk offending Santa.

  4. Submitted by keller steven on 12/18/2010 - 11:30 pm.

    “Jackson said rather than depriving the rest of the group of the Santa experience, parents who object should take their kids out of the class during the half hour he spends talking to the kids and giving them candy.”

    Better yet, the parents of the American children should take their children to a Christian head start, or begin homeschooling. In order for their kids to learn their own culture, American kids needs to be taken out of American schools, because they aren’t American anymore.

  5. Submitted by robert donaldson on 12/19/2010 - 01:41 am.

    interesting as santa comes only at CHRIST mas, so heres our greatest opportunity to reach out to these lost peolpes.
    We should be pleased they have come to our countries to allow us to give them the truth.
    Its a marvellous chance to say Jesus said, i am the way the life and the truth, and no-one comnes to the Ftaher except through me.
    Bless those people for God has sent them to be given this truth.

  6. Submitted by Geoff Periakis on 12/19/2010 - 05:26 am.

    So what we’re learning is that Somali Muslims are offended by the practice of other people’s cultures.

    Is anyone even passingly familiar with Islam surprised by this situation? The extirpation of indigenous culture (termed “jahilyah”, or the “pre-Islamic period of ignorance” as used) has been a feature of Islam for over a thousand years.

    Send the Somalis back home, where their Archie Bunker mentalities will be more comforted.

  7. Submitted by Geoff Periakis on 12/19/2010 - 05:28 am.

    PS: I wonder what they’d do if they saw a crucifix. Would there be complaints? After all, can’t have the representation of other people’s belief systems. That would be offensive to their intolerance.

  8. Submitted by John Ughlea on 12/20/2010 - 06:06 am.

    Islam has once again exposed itself as an intolerant religion. Wake up Minnesota!

  9. Submitted by Santa Claus on 01/06/2011 - 11:26 pm.

    Perhaps, Head Start should do its research.

    My legal name is Santa Claus, and I’m a Christian Monk and consecrated Bishop, as St. Nicholas was many centuries ago.

    I believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, not the crass, commercial, secular spectacle it has become in many places, and that the greatest gift one can give is love, not presents.

    I also serve as a volunteer advocate for the 2 million children in the U.S. annually who are abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned, homeless, and institutionalized through no fault of their own.

    I’m wondering why Head Start, instead of being inclusive and celebrating diversity, would discriminate and ban only Santa Claus. The Head Start program claims: “Each child is treated as an individual in an inclusive community that values, respects, and responds to diversity. The varied experiences provided by the program support the continuum of children’s growth and development, which includes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child.”

    In my view, Head Start’s intent regarding Santa Claus is discriminatory and its policy defamatory.

    I believe Head Start programs are great and would not like to see their funding endangered by folks like Chris Marben.

    Blessings to all, Santa Claus
    The Rt. Rev. Santa Claus, OAC
    ((TheSanta dot im))

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