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etymxris
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(Originally posted on: 12-11-06 05:19:11 PM)
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Why is a teacher fired for telling kids the truth? And I'm not talking about a controversial truths, on which there is legitimate public debate. I'm talking about a truth that no sane adult will deny: there is no Santa Claus.

Underlying the outrage against the teacher seems to be a few claims:

  1. "It is not the teacher's place to dispel the Santa Clause myth for young children."
  2. "let the kids retain the innocence of youth as long as they can...kids grow up too fast nowadays."
  3. "Kids should be encouraged to dream and fantasize."
  4. "It's important to let your kids know early on that you're capable of lying to them."
  5. "Maybe the teacher was fired over what can be construed as complete insensitivity to the parents and what could be argued as just plain meaness toward the kiddies."

If you want your child living in a fantasy world, don't let them speak to anyone who doesn't believe in it. I'm not going to lie to your kids on your account. Neither will I insist on changing the subject if they flatly ask me "Does Santa exist?"

Some people find this ridiculous, but I lost a lot of trust in my parents when I found out they were perpetrating a lie. If they were lying about this, what else might they be lying about?

In addition, the rich kids always seem to be "better behaved" than the poor ones. Implicit in the Santa myth is that poor children deserve their place in society.

There's a certain tendency to see traditions as normal and reasonable no matter how strange or irrational they are. A massive conspiracy against children to get them to believe gifts come from a magical man on a sled? Come on, that's just ridiculous. Why not just tell them the gifts came from you, because you love them?
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Reply 1 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 05:22:13 PM)
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I'm pretty sure this thread just destroyed any hope I had of getting back my holiday spirit.
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Reply 2 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 05:25:49 PM)
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What a bitch. She should know that she's paid to lie, especially in history class!
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Reply 3 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 05:26:21 PM)
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The teacher was a bit of an hilarious jerk, but that's hardly a good (legal) reason to fire her. She should sue, and win.

Also, as a matter of fact the children are old enough to know already. I'm surprised they didn't know.
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Reply 4 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 05:36:33 PM)
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Even since I found out Santa wasn't real I've been unable to achieve an erection...

Ha.
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Reply 5 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 06:07:57 PM)
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Santa Clause exists in spirit...But I gotta tell you I sometimes wonder if Santa and Satan are in fact the same spirit. I mean they both wear red...Live in relatively remote locations that no one in their right mind would want to visit (except maybe for scientific reasons)...And they have a hoard of minions to do their bidding.

Just a thought...
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Reply 6 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 06:20:56 PM)
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Too bad she's not a teacher in the US, it takes years to get fired for sexual assault to a minor, it would be impossible to fire her for something as silly as that.
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Reply 7 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 06:23:32 PM)
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someone might as well pick up the ball and drop the bomb on them about the easter bunny and the tooth fairy.
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Reply 8 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 07:51:17 PM)
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For the record, I can't remember ever being dumb enough to actually believe in Santa Claus.

...But I pretended to until about 9 or 10, to put my mother at ease. Life is all a big game, isn't it?
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Reply 9 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:06:25 PM)
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she shouldn't have been axed (though she was a substitute), but she's still a bitch.

I may be alone, but why is Santa Claus (in any way) even mentioned in school?
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Reply 10 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:07:19 PM)
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People who turn Santa Claus into a vicious lie really piss me off - Stop robbing kids of the few short years of innocence and ignorance they are lucky enough to have just because the world is a terrible dissapointment - let them have their fun.

Also it's not that she OMG TOLD THEM THE TRUTH - she called their parents liars and then sent them home in tears.

Fuck that bitch, let her work with older kids.
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etymxris
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Reply 11 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:21:37 PM)
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Quoted from Smokey:
Stop robbing kids of the few short years of innocence and ignorance they are lucky enough to have just because the world is a terrible dissapointment - let them have their fun.

I never understood this sentiment, perhaps because my childhood was never really innocent. I don't see the need to be a wet blanket, but it seems unreasonable to ask everyone to participate in your fairy tales.

If a mother spun a tale to her child about how leprachauns really exist and leave you money on St. Patrick's day, I think most people would feel no compulsion to further the mother's lie. So why does this fable deserve special consideration? Just because a lot of people join in on the Santa conspiracy? That doesn't seem like a good reason to me.

Quote:
Also it's not that she OMG TOLD THEM THE TRUTH - she called their parents liars and then sent them home in tears.

Well their parents are liars. At this point we might have to distinguish between the teacher bringing it up without being prompted, and the teacher responding to a direct question. St. Nick is likely irrelevant to her syllabus, but if some kid directly asked her about whether Santa exists, is she morally obliged to lie, or even change the subject? I don't think so.
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Reply 12 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:39:32 PM)
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Quoted from etymxris:
Quoted from Smokey:
Stop robbing kids of the few short years of innocence and ignorance they are lucky enough to have just because the world is a terrible dissapointment - let them have their fun.

I never understood this sentiment, perhaps because my childhood was never really innocent. I don't see the need to be a wet blanket, but it seems unreasonable to ask everyone to participate in your fairy tales.


If a mother spun a tale to her child about how leprachauns really exist and leave you money on St. Patrick's day, I think most people would feel no compulsion to further the mother's lie. So why does this fable deserve special consideration? Just because a lot of people join in on the Santa conspiracy? That doesn't seem like a good reason to me.


It's simple! I know that these days people cringe at the idea of one person having ownership over another person - but that's what being a parent is, has been, and always should be - ownership of a child. The child is mine, he belongs to me, I am God and what I say is true until I say it's not true. Leprechans, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus etc. They're real until I say they aren't. Does any reasonable person feel a heavy burden in telling these long running fairy tales that are common place in most every household? No - here's what happened - She's a female teacher who grew too comfortable with the kids (probably because noone will give her kids) and she decided she'd play the role of parent. The parent is like a customer in a business and when enough parents come to that "manager" and complain about disrespectful and irresponsible behavior - someone encroaching on their fucking godhood - fired. It's a business, she knew that, she deserved what happened.

Quote:

Well their parents are liars. At this point we might have to distinguish between the teacher bringing it up without being prompted, and the teacher responding to a direct question. St. Nick is likely irrelevant to her syllabus, but if some kid directly asked her about whether Santa exists, is she morally obliged to lie, or even change the subject? I don't think so.


We don't have to distinguish any such thing- she's not just some person, she's a teacher and her job is to spend a good amount of time with someone elses kids - she's a well trained babysitter basically - and she's expected and paid to HELP the parents, not work against them. She knows goddamn well that what she did was wrong and it was, in the very purest sense, poor fucking service.

She is morally obliged to lie, or change the subject. You think wrong. These are kids - they believe because they are told, and they believe because they want to believe. Both. But fuck all that, I shouldn't be bothered with the task of telling fairy tales to a child because...Oh it's because I'm a self-centered whiner.

There's no fucking way any sensible person considers this a burden, you're just looking for something to bitch about - or you had a really fucked up childhood and never got past the "I suffered, everyone else should too" stage.
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Reply 13 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:52:02 PM)
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Quoted from Smokey:
what I say is true until I say it's not true.



There's a word for that.

I'd be interested in knowing if there is some kind of code of ethics at the school she taught at - like to be honest? Well I don't necessarily know if she made the right choice in whistle-blowing on Santa, I definitely don't think it's something for which she should have been fired. What kind of message does that send?
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Reply 14 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:57:15 PM)
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St. Nick is likely irrelevant to her syllabus, but if some kid directly asked her about whether Santa exists, is she morally obliged to lie, or even change the subject? I don't think so.

her morals, or any 'ideal morals' have nothing to do with her work as a teacher. it's the morals of society that dictate what she does in her profession, and what she should do in that circumstance is change the subject to one that is educationally relevant to what she is teaching. it is not her duty to dictate her own morals, whether you view them as incorrect or not (as in had she advocated the opposite viewpoint, and in this case claimed Santa Claus as real?).
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Reply 15 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 08:59:22 PM)
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I'm just shocked that someone on this forum reads The Sun. Was it reading material in your grandparents' bathroom? Standing in a grocery line?
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Reply 16 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:01:22 PM)
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Quoted from Wandering Idiot:
I'm just shocked that someone on this forum reads The Sun. Was it reading material in your grandparents' bathroom? Standing in a grocery line?


PAGE 3 GIRLS!!!!!!!!! well thats what I take a gander at
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Reply 17 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:02:09 PM)
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Quoted from Mr Excitable:
Quoted from Wandering Idiot:
I'm just shocked that someone on this forum reads The Sun. Was it reading material in your grandparents' bathroom? Standing in a grocery line?


PAGE 3 GIRLS!!!!!!!!! well thats what I take a gander at

is every Sun like that? That's the only reason the Calgary Sun is read.
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Reply 18 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:09:57 PM)
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Quoted from kayte:
Quoted from Smokey:
what I say is true until I say it's not true.



There's a word for that.

I'd be interested in knowing if there is some kind of code of ethics at the school she taught at - like to be honest? Well I don't necessarily know if she made the right choice in whistle-blowing on Santa, I definitely don't think it's something for which she should have been fired. What kind of message does that send?


A good one - parents are still somewhat in charge of their children within a system that has been progressively taking over, and doing a shit job.

What she got fired for isn't going to ruin her chances at another job - she'll be fine. If pedophiles can continue on to teach as they so often do after the heat dies down - this lady will be back in a classroom by January. I'm not opposed to that, but she pissed off the customer..pretty much all of the customers - that gets you fired anywhere. The morality behind Santa Claus doesn't have to factor in.


We're not manipulating children with the myth of Santa - we're giving them something they can understand when their brains aren't done growing - concepts of sex, betrayal, honorable lies, the reality of war, politics, corruption therein - that will come when they can handle it in clear unadulterated terms. For now Santa pushes them through a stage as a tool for growth, it helps to teach them universal basic values that will help them through life in terms they can understand...yep...reward system! It works. It helps. It always has - it's a tool - not a malicious lie.

Stop refering to 9 year olds like they're fucking adults. If you want to start being 100% honest with kids then you're going to have to open pandoras box - introduce my to your kid when he/she is 14 but hurry up before they cut their wrists, kill or rape anyone.
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Reply 19 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:16:28 PM)
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Quoted from Sunny:
her morals, or any 'ideal morals' have nothing to do with her work as a teacher. it's the morals of society that dictate what she does in her profession

To say social mores should be followed is itself a moral claim, one that transcends society. But it's a false claim. Social norms are not always right. To avoid godwinning the discussion I'll point to infibulation. I don't care what you think or what society you come from, infibulation is wrong for me, you, and everyone.

So anyway, the question just comes back at us: Is society correct to demand its teachers to lie about Santa?

Quote:
it is not her duty to dictate her own morals

If you have no duty to uphold a moral norm, then it just isn't a moral norm.

Quoted from Smokey:
It's simple! I know that these days people cringe at the idea of one person having ownership over another person - but that's what being a parent is, has been, and always should be - ownership of a child. The child is mine, he belongs to me, I am God and what I say is true until I say it's not true. Leprechans, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus etc. They're real until I say they aren't....She is morally obliged to lie, or change the subject. You think wrong.

Well, you're biting the bullet, I just don't find it plausible.

Quote:
Does any reasonable person feel a heavy burden in telling these long running fairy tales that are common place in most every household? No

Well, I consider myself reasonable and I have big problem with lying, even to children. I have a problem to lying it pretty much any context. So, for example, if a friend asks me to lie about where he's gone, I simply refuse. I'm not sure why I should be expected to lie for others or why refusing to lie makes me a worse person.

Quote:
There's no fucking way any sensible person considers this a burden

You're saying I'm unreasonable, but by what standard?

Quote:
you're just looking for something to bitch about - or you had a really fucked up childhood and never got past the "I suffered, everyone else should too" stage.

As I said, I have no desire to rain on others' parades. But if you ask me to lie, sorry, I'm not going to do it. Any moral principle that asks me to lie against my will is just going to be a reductio against that principle.
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Reply 20 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:18:15 PM)
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Quoted from Smokey:

Quoted from kayte:
What kind of message does that send?

A good one - parents are still somewhat in charge of their children within a system that has been progressively taking over, and doing a shit job.


Interesting. I think it's a dangerous message, negative reinforcement to encourage her and everyone to tell people what they want to hear regardless of whether or not it is true. (Insert slippery slope argument here).
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Reply 21 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:29:13 PM)
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Quoted from etymxris:

So anyway, the question just comes back at us: Is society correct to demand its teachers to lie about Santa?


As it is societies duty to care for it's children and respect a healthy family life - and allowing a CHILD to live in a CHILDISH world is a CHILDS right and a CHILDS right automatically translates to a PARENTAL right. That being said - it is societies duty to respect the healthy family life that may or may not entail telling them that santa is real. The argument of society and its duties, though, doesn't factor in and you can fight but you'll lose. Even if you were anywhere near correct - you'd lose. You're outnumbered.

But yeah it doesn't matter - she did her job poorly and she got fired. Tough. For this particular situation, this is all that matters. She asked for it. Right or wrong.

Quote:
I'm not sure why I should be expected to lie for others or why refusing to lie makes me a worse person.


That's only because you're not listening. With you it just makes you a jerk, and I'll just call you a jerk and it'll end there...it's mean crush a childs dreams - period. But it wasn't you - it was someone who was paid to take care of kids and who knew better. So it's different. It's the other authority figure, a substitute authority figure that crossed a line. Completely different. You're just a dumb young guy like most of us here that has no clue how to raise kids - more understandable if you do it...if I do it...it's the reason we're arguing about this at all.


Quote:
Quote:
There's no fucking way any sensible person considers this a burden

You're saying I'm unreasonable, but by what standard?


By the standard that says lying to kids isn't a burden. The human standard....because it's not. I think it's pretty solid.

Quote:

As I said, I have no desire to rain on others' parades. But if you ask me to lie, sorry, I'm not going to do it. Any moral principle that asks me to lie against my will is just going to be a reductio against that principle.


Riiiight - that whole "do I look fat in this dress" question is going to be really fun for you in the future.
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Reply 22 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:29:57 PM)
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Quoted from kayte:
Quoted from Smokey:

Quoted from kayte:
What kind of message does that send?

A good one - parents are still somewhat in charge of their children within a system that has been progressively taking over, and doing a shit job.


Interesting. I think it's a dangerous message, negative reinforcement to encourage her and everyone to tell people what they want to hear regardless of whether or not it is true. (Insert slippery slope argument here).


Yeah you're wrong because that doesn't happen.

Not to a negative extent anyway - there are many occasions in which lying is the right thing to do, and that lesson is a little more complicated but it comes - maybe it starts with Santa. But there's more to child rearing than this and Santa's non-existence doesn't fuck up children. The hypothetical is fine and well - but we've been doing this for years and years and years and sorry, it's not screwing kids up.
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Reply 23 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:34:35 PM)
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To say social mores should be followed is itself a moral claim, one that transcends society. But it's a false claim. Social norms are not always right. To avoid godwinning the discussion I'll point to infibulation. I don't care what you think or what society you come from, infibulation is wrong for me, you, and everyone.

I'm not claiming social mores should be followed outside her workplace, only that her profession requires her to abide by the institution she works under. The institution she works for - I assume public education - is controlled (in theory, but also in practice) by the majority of people - the society. It does not matter realistically if society is right or wrong, it is her job as a teacher to teach the curriculum under the morals that her educational institution has established. If she doesn't, she is professionally reprimanded. It's no different from any other job in this respect, only that what she represents is the government of 'the people' - society, government and theoretically the majority.

The moral philosophy you dictate is strictly theoretical or ideal. Realistically she committed a professional (and with extension) social 'no-no'

Quote:
So anyway, the question just comes back at us: Is society correct to demand its teachers to lie about Santa?

Unless she is teaching religious studies or 'santa claus 101' Santa Claus shouldn't be mentioned in schools at all - in any way. It's not part of the curriculum, so in practice she wouldn't lie about it, she'd ignore it. Most teachers can deal with that, she obviously can't.

Quote:
If you have no duty to uphold a moral norm, then it just isn't a moral norm.

She upholds the morals of the institution she represents. It doesn't matter how correct that institution is.

As the institution she represents is upheld by the government (and further by the the people), in extension she becomes a representative of society, and thus social norms.

In this case, she's not supposed to give an answer at all. Social norms dictate that she is to only teach the curriculum, and that she is not to get involved in the issue of Santa Claus as it is not in the curriculum.
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Reply 24 of 56 (Originally posted on: 12-11-06 09:37:57 PM)
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Quoted from Smokey:
Quoted from kayte:
Quoted from Smokey:

Quoted from kayte:
What kind of message does that send?

A good one - parents are still somewhat in charge of their children within a system that has been progressively taking over, and doing a shit job.


Interesting. I think it's a dangerous message, negative reinforcement to encourage her and everyone to tell people what they want to hear regardless of whether or not it is true. (Insert slippery slope argument here).


Yeah you're wrong because that doesn't happen.


...Um, except that it obviously did, hence the thread.
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