A New Mexico high school teacher is under fire for reportedly telling a black teen that he could not dress as Santa because old St. Nick is white, KOB-4 reports.
Officials at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, about 15 miles north of Albuquerque, N.M., said Friday that the teacher was disciplined for his comments to the student, but they did not provide details, the report says.
The incident occurred after students were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.
Michael Rougier, who is white, said his ninth-grade son, Christopher, who is black, arrived wearing a Santa hat and beard, the report says, and the teacher asked the boy: “Don’t you know Santa Clause is white? Why are you wearing that?”
The teacher’s name was not released, and attempts by the Associated Press to reach school officials Saturday were unsuccessful.
Rougier said the teacher’s comments enraged him, reports show.
“There’s no room for that in the classroom,” he told KOB-TV. “Whether this teacher felt Christopher may have been wearing this out of context, there’s no room for it. There’s just no room for it.”
The incident comes in the aftermath of major fallout from Fox News Channel Megyn Kelly’s comments that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. She tried to walk back on the comments, saying she was joking, but some, like MSNBC host and scholar Melissa Harris-Perry, were unconvinced. Harris-Perry said on the air Saturday, “No wonder” the U.S. has a “racial divide.”
Read more at KOB-4.