Parents upset after they say teacher told kids there is no Santa

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SEMINOLE, Fla. - A Florida teacher has upset many parents in Pinellas County after they said she told her students there was no Santa Claus.

"He was in tears.  He was very distraught," said parent Kevin Durbin.

Durbin was describing his fourth-grade son, and how the 10-year-old felt when he came home from Starkey Elementary School Monday.

Durbin said for his family, like many other families with young children, Christmas is a special time of year; with the man in the red suit taking center stage.

Durbin said his son, along with others in the class, became upset when their music teacher began to talk negatively about Santa.

"He told me that she went, 'Santa' (makes throat-cutting gesture). And, he said it led him to believe that there wasn't a Santa Claus," Durbin described.

Durbin, who also has a second-grade daughter at Starkey Elementary School, said he went to the school to voice his concerns Tuesday morning.

A representative for the Pinellas County School District, Melanie Marquez, said the principal at Starkey was aware of the situation and was acting accordingly.

"It's kind of disheartening.  It's not really the teacher's objective to teach them about Santa Claus or anything of the sort.  That's up to the parents," said parent Angela Pouliot.

Durbin said he wants to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well in his home, and he hopes that his kids will continue to anticipate Santa with the same exuberance they always have.