Political Correctness on the March: School in Netherlands asked not to dress as Santa and Piet
“It is true that teachers from the substructure groups of the Antoniusschool in Alverna asked their pupils not to come dressed as a Piet or a Charcoal on 5 December. This happened entirely in good faith, they thought that this policy was from our school. But that is not it at all “, explains school director Simone Lemmers.
It was a major communication error, the school director acknowledges generously. “Next year the children will certainly be welcome again in Pieten- and Santa Claus dress. This should not have happened. Of course we understand as a school that this is a big children’s party that has to be celebrated. We will certainly also review our mutual communication. That will happen tomorrow.”
Surprisingly, the young pupils did not receive the message – orally, by letter or e-mail – in order not to be dressed up, almost neatly transferred home on Tuesday. Lemmers:
“There was not a whole group of children that we sent home again. Only one boy was dressed as a Piet.”
His mother told De Gelderlander that she had to rush home to get other clothes. Lemmers:
“I understand that he could change clothes with clothes that were at school. This mother has chosen to go home for new clothes. “
Other parents were angry about the decision not to dress up. Lemmers understands this, but also does not want her own teachers to lose weight.
“They thought that the school did not want to stay away from the blackface debate. That is why they did not have any suspicion that the Saint Nicholas feast would be celebrated differently than usual. “
The school director’s threat appeared on Facebook a few hours later. Mariska Peters, the mother who reported her displeasure to De Gelderlander, said that the director called her to apologize for the clothing decision.
“Of course I do not want those threats at all, that’s going too far. I was concerned with raising the decision of the school.”
The school director now hopes that everyone will keep calm especially. “We are very shocked by these reactions. It is terrible that things get out of hand. I really want to protect my teachers. They also have nothing against the Sinterklaas celebration. They only thought to follow the school’s guideline.”
The only general guideline of the umbrella school board Chance and Color is that no ‘stereotypical black people’ are used in the primary schools of the foundation. “It must be a party for all parents and children “, says school manager Hennie Biemond. “Also for those who have trouble with the traditional black Pete. Hence soot or rainbow Pieten at the Chance and Color Schools.”
Earlier, Biemond reported that in Alverna the teachers chose to leave out children who were dressed like Piets or Santas because ‘children are not themselves’. Lemmers:
“She did indeed report this after she spoke to one of the teachers of the substructure. But it is therefore a misunderstanding that this policy is from our school.”