A substitute teacher is in hot water after she apparently told a group of New Jersey first-graders that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
Lisa Simek, whose daughter attends Cedar Hill School, where the incident happened, said the teacher completely “unleash[ed] on them” after she asked what holiday was coming up and one students replied “Christmas.”
“She told them Santa isn’t real and parents just buy presents and put them under their tree,” Simek wrote on Facebook.
But the teacher didn’t stop there, according to Simek. “She told them reindeer can’t fly and elves are not real — Elf on the Shelf is just a pretend doll that your parents move around.”
She even told them the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, the mom said.
“A grown woman tried to crush our [6-year-old]'s spirit, along with the spirits of the other 22 kids in CH’s 1st Grade class,” Simek added.
Montville Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar said in a statement she was “troubled and disheartened by this incident."
The school’s principal, Michael Raj, also sent a letter to parents after the incident, saying the teacher, who has not been named, used “poor judgment," according to CBS News.
"I am sending this letter so that you are aware of the situation and if the conversation comes up at home over the next few days you can take appropriate steps to maintain the childhood innocence of the holiday season," Raj wrote.
Experts commonly say there is no right time to tell your kids Santa isn’t real but advise that parents should wait for their children to give them signals that they no longer believe.