An annual "Dear Santa" assignment and field trip at Sartorette Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., was canceled after one parent complained the school district was favoring one religion over others. The mother, who is Jewish, objected to school board directors and told them the district should "teach about all holidays," reported San Francisco station KPIX-TV.
This school field trip was a decade-long tradition at Sartorette Elementary, according to a CBS News report. The outing involves students visiting Santa at a local coffee shop.
The mother, identified only as Talia, said all observations and holidays should be taught at school because "we live in a global society."
Other Sartorette parents confronted school board members on the matter Thursday evening, with some blaming the vocal Jewish parent for ruining Christmas, the CBS News story indicated. Several parents voiced how concerning it is that all parents' opinions were not sought about the outing, and that it was alarming that events can get shut down just because one person communicates they are against it.
The mother claims she is being bullied by the other parents, the story said, stating that some of the other parents had called her a communist.
Cambrian School District Superintendent Carrie Andrews told reporters outside Thursday night's school board meeting what began as a tradition 10 years ago is not necessarily the right thing to do today. "The bigger conversation that needs to be had is really looking at the diversity of our beliefs and our customs and making sure we instill that, and that's what public schools need to be doing."
School board members were unable to take any action on the issue, such as reversing the decision, because it was not on the existing, previously published meeting agenda.