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'AITA for telling a 15-year old that Santa isn't real as a teacher?'

'AITA for telling a 15-year old that Santa isn't real as a teacher?'


The truth hurts, especially the truth about santa.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, an English teacher asked if they were wrong for telling a teen Santa isn't real in order to make a point in class. They wrote:

"AITA for telling a 15-year old that Santa isn't real as a teacher?"

I am an English teacher for grade 10 (15-16-year-olds) and my class is reading Animal Farm, which is an allegory of the Russian Revolution, and in the novella, the animals are very unintelligent and gullible, easily falling for propaganda. One of the horses couldn't even learn the alphabet past the letter D.

One of my students, a 15-year-old girl, asked me why the animals were falling for propaganda so easily, and I replied that "they haven't developed critical thinking skills yet. For example, you probably believed in Santa when you were younger, but as you got older, you developed critical thinking skills and realized that it would be impossible for Santa to deliver a billion gifts in one night."

She then replied with "wait what, Santa isn't real?" She looked around her table group and asked the other students "you believe in Santa, right?" The other kids stared at each other and a few of them broke into laughter. I saw one students putting his finger to his mouth, making a shhhhhh gesture to another student while giggling.

She seemed pretty upset for the rest of the class.

So I basically told one of my sophomore year students that Santa wasn't real, assuming that she would already know as a 15-year old.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

HolyGonzo wrote:

She was screwing with you, playing dumb for laughs and attention. You didn't ruin anything, and her joke was typical sophomore humor. There was no fault here. NAH.

Resident_Test_9399 wrote:

Not necessarily, I was in grade 9 when a teacher did the same thing to me more-or-less word for word. My parents were neglectful and emotionally ab*sive. I clung onto the magic of Santa thinking I was a good child. That teacher broke my heart into a million pieces with the truth. I don't hold it against him; he didn't know my home life.

daisychains96 wrote:

I had a best friend growing up who was in a similar situation. So many kids in high school would tell her that Santa isn’t real and she would argue with them, saying yes he is. She clung to it because she was unhappy at home. It was sad.

JeepersCreepers74 wrote:

I feel like you could stand to hone your critical thinking skills a bit more yourself because you're being pranked.


TheNewAnonima234 wrote:

NAH, but with a caveat. In the future, I wouldn’t recommend using the exact argument you used as an anti-example of critical thinking though, and here’s why. I’m not saying I ever believed in Santa, but people I ‘ve heard about, who did, believed he had a little something called “magic.”

If you believe both that Santa existed and that he had magical powers, it explains any illogicalness of the logistics of Christmas Eve. Thus, the girl, isn’t being illogical. Sheltered definitely. Naive….Blissfully ignorant…too. But, not illogical. Why not use a real-life example that doesn’t involve any sort of belief over a holiday, religion, etc?

LunaticBZ wrote:

If I believe this story is true does that mean I lack critical thinking skills?

But at the same time I want to believe because its funnier if its real.

luigiannese96 wrote:

YTA because of your Animal Farm analysis. The whole point of the book is to highlight the power of propaganda and how people in positions of power can control what people believe through manipulation and lies. Critical thinking doesn’t necessarily protect you from this.

Clenzor wrote:

I accidentally did this to a 13 year old friend, when a Santa themed radio ad came on. I said something like, "Isn't it really cool how all the adults pretend when stuff like this comes on?" and I have been haunted by the look on his face in the rear view mirror since.

Doenut55 wrote:

I believed in Santa till I was 13 and 1/2 because my home life was so broken and torn up. I needed to believe in something. Something good. Something to wake up to on Christmas morning from a very freshly divorced household. And had going to court on my 13th birthday that year for ugly custody hearings. It came to a head when my mom said she wouldn't be able to afford presents at Christmas.

But we would have a nice meal at least. I told her not to worry about it as Santa would be coming, and that's when she had to tell me. I ended up asking my dad for cash before Christmas so I can buy stuff for myself since I already knew. He gave me $40 and I spent every dime on my younger siblings. Stocking stuffers, candy, and cards. All from Santa.

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