Head teacher axes Santa from school repertoire

A head teacher in southern Sweden has pledged to ban the singing of songs about Santa Claus from end of term Christmas ceremonies.

Peter Norlin has also argued that all schools in the Bräkne-Hoby area should refrain from rounding off the term with celebrations in a Christian church, Blekinge Läns Tidning (BLT) reports.

The principal has justified his stance with reference to guidleines from the Swedish National Agency for Education. These state that end of term celebrations should be devised in such a way that all pupils can participate and are not exposed to the influence of one particular religion.

The headmaster has decided that he, rather than a church minister, should preside over this year’s ceremony. Norlin has not yet decided which songs to sing, since most Christmas carols have a Christian theme. But Santa Claus is very unlikely to get an airing.

“Father Christmas is after all based on the Christian Saint Nicholas,” he told BLT.

Peter Norlin is planning to raise the issue at a district parent-teacher meeting on Tuesday evening.

The National Agency for Education meanwhile said it was not opposed to songs about Santa Claus.

“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,” agency lawyer Maria Lilja told BLT.