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Cambridge School Removes Santa Claus From Winter Concert

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) - The Andrew Peabody School in Cambridge snubbed Santa the day before the winter concert. Principal Jennifer Ford sent a letter home to parents on Thursday letting them know of the change.

The letter said in part: "I am writing to you today to inform you of a change in our concert series this winter. Our First through Fourth grade concert as well as our Kindergarten concert will not include a visit from Santa Claus this year."

Robert Thompson has two kids in the school. He said the concert traditionally closed with Santa running through the aisle. He said the decision to remove Santa was based on a complaint.

"I don't think it's right, and I know a lot of people agree with me," said Thompson. "It seems like that's what's going on in America – the squeaky wheel gets oil. It's a shame."

Parents had mixed opinions about the Santa's absence.

Mohammed Hassan said he does not look at Santa Claus as a religious symbol. "Kids like that, it's fun for kids, which is good," said Hassan.

Rachel Begley said her son will miss Santa, but she doesn't think the school needs to provide one. "I think that it's a shame we can't all celebrate each other's cultures and Santa is a big part of Christmas-time," said Begley.

Himabraya Ashar understood the change as more inclusive and some parents may not want Santa Claus at a school event. "We have other ways of exposing our kids to Santa Claus," said Ashar.

The principal's letter did say Santa will make an appearance at the end of a family sing-along on December 23rd. Parents can opt their kids out of the event.

Thompson said he's not offended if other cultures are added to the concert. He thinks sacking Santa is wrong.

School principal Jennifer Ford would not comment. The city superintendent did not return requests for comment.


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