Swedish teacher bans Santa

A Swedish head teacher has decided to take Santa Claus out of Christmas this year, at least for in-school festivities.

“Father Christmas is, after all, based on the Christian St. Nicholas,” Peter Norlin told Blekinge Lans Tidning.

Norlin said all schools in the Brakne-Hoby area in southern Sweden should also avoid overtly Christian services. He plans to preside over his school’s celebration instead of bringing in a Christian minister and to ban any songs featuring Santa Claus.

He cites National Agency for Education guidelines on avoiding favoring any religion in school and making sure children of other faiths are not made uncomfortable. But the agency does not go as far as he does.

“As long as the celebrations focus on the ceremonial aspects, traditions and togetherness, it is up to individual schools to decide what songs they want to sing,” Maria Lilja, a lawyer for the agency, said.

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