A New Mexico high school teacher has been disciplined after a parent says the man told his black son that Santa Claus is white.
Officials at the school in Rio Rancho announced on Friday that the teacher was disciplined for his remarks to the student, but they declined to say how.
The incident came after students at Cleveland High School were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.
Michael Rougier said his ninth-grade son, Christopher, arrived wearing a Santa hat and beard, and the teacher asked the boy: "Don't you know Santa Claus is white? Why are you wearing that?"
Michael Rougier said the teacher's comments enraged him.
"There's no room for that in the classroom," he said. "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 happened the same week that Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly said on the air that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Her comments drew national attention and prompted a slew of heated comments on blogs and social media sites.
According to a Rio Rancho Public Schools official, the Cleveland High School teacher knows he made a "dumb" mistake and has since apologized to the Rougier family.
Michael Rougier said he still has concerns. "If he has that attitude, how is it affecting students, studies, grading habits, trending toward Caucasian kids?" Rougier said of the teacher.
Christopher now doesn’t want to put the costume back on. He felt ashamed and embarrassed by the teacher. But his parents want him to know there’s nothing wrong with what he did, and they want to see change in that classroom.
The teacher still works at Cleveland, however, and Christopher has been removed from his class.
And Megyn Kelly also still has a job, and proudly stands by her "White Santa" and "White Jesus" comments.
[Via KOB Eyewitness News 4]