Muslim Immigrants Get Santa Cancelled in Minnesota
Santa Claus, as portrayed by Dennis Jackson, won’t be visiting students at the Head Start classes in St. Peter this year.
Jackson has made appearances the past four years at the classes for students who need help preparing for school, but this year officials said, “No, no, no.”
The reason: The classes have many immigrant children who don’t celebrate Christmas, says the Mankato Free Press.
Santa’s a little frosted, the paper says.
It kind of burnt me up,” he said.
The official explanation from Chris Marben, who coordinates regional Head Start programs through Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council: “We have Somali families in the program. We’re respecting the wishes of families in the program.”
She didn’t say how many objections were made, but said more than one would be enough to cancel Santa…
Jackson said he’s played Santa with children from other cultures before and they were fully comfortable with him. He said it’s their parents who are being unreasonable.
“They’re not respecting the majority,” he said. “My feeling is (objecting parents) can take their kids out of class for half an hour and let the other kids enjoy it. They should sacrifice, not rule.”