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Parents upset after substitute teacher says Santa isn't real

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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STONEHAM, Mass. - Parents in Stoneham are upset after a substitute teacher told elementary school students that Santa Claus does not exist - just days before Christmas break.

One mother reached out to FOX25 after the principal at Colonial Park Elementary emailed parents to notify them of the incident.

"I was appalled to learn a substitute would purposely talk to students about the existence of Santa Claus," school administrators wrote, promising parents the substitute would no longer be allowed to teach in the school.

Parents said many of the 26 students in the class went home in tears, asking their parents about the woman's comments.

"My son said that she was really mean, and that he doesn't understand why she would say that, and that she's on the naughty list," one mother said.

According to school officials, the substitute was provided by Kelly Services, a staffing agency located in Boston.

When FOX25 contacted Kelly Services for comment, a spokeswoman said "Kelly Services is always concerned about alleged reports of unsatisfactory behavior by one of our employees and investigates all reports. However, in accordance with employment regulations and prudent business practices, we do not publicly disclose employment status or information specific to an employee."

Some parents questioned the vetting process used by the staffing agency, with one woman telling FOX25, "Who are they letting through, and what do they know about these people that they're putting with our children for the day? I just want to know why - what could possibly have been going through her mind to come out with a statement like that?"