Substitute teacher leaves 3rd grade pupils in tears after announcing ‘Santa isn’t real’

Christmas is a magical time for all, but especially for children, with the festive traditions us adults keep alive help to create wonderful memories for years to come.

At a school in Ohio, Santa Claus and the “Elf on the Shelf”, were festive traditions one teacher enjoyed bringing into her classroom each year.

She had an “Elf on the Shelf” in her classroom and was preparing the kids for a special school event: “Breakfast with Santa.”

The kids were happily getting into the festive spirit until a substitute teacher took over her class for the day and did something that left the pupils in tears.

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Ashley Coughenour/

Ashley Coughenour’s 9-year-old daughter Ella came home from her third-grade class in tears last week after she had introduced the substitute teacher to the class “Elf on the Shelf.”

According to Ashley, the teacher then told her and the class that Santa Claus and elves aren’t real.

‘I was heartbroken’

“[My daughter] immediately just broke into tears and she said that the teacher told her that Santa Claus isn’t real, Christmas isn’t real, and Christmas elves aren’t real — it’s all made up.

“I was angry. I was heartbroken. Because that was taken away from my daughter. And it hurt,” Ashley told Fox News.

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When the school principal found out about the shocking incident, she called the parents of each child in the class to tell them what happened and personally apologize.

“I want to know why she felt it was OK to shatter a childhood — anybody’s childhood,” Ashley added.

Teacher ‘no longer welcome’

A statement issued by the school district said: “We sincerely apologize that this happened in one of our classrooms. We agree that it’s not appropriate for anyone working in our schools with our young children to make comments regarding their personal beliefs about the authenticity of Santa Claus.”

The school said the substitute teacher is no longer welcome, but the teacher’s husband told Fox News that he believes the students may have misinterpreted what his wife said.

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