A news item claims that a 9-year old student was suspended for saying “Merry Christmas” to a teacher. Is this true or false?
It is false. The story is satire.
The website which published this article is the satirical National Report. The fictional story tells of a student who offended his atheist teacher by saying “Merry Christmas.”
“I say ‘Merry Christmas’ to everyone,” the boy told CNN. “I didn’t think it would cause so much trouble just for saying a couple little words.”
The boy’s mother, Laura Dawson, 41, was fuming over the issue.
“You don’t traumatize a child who loves to go to school, who wanted to be early every day to school, you don’t make him cry, just for wishing someone Merry Christmas,” she told reporters, holding back tears. “You just don’t do it.”
The story has been shared on social media websites, and was also repeated by LiveLeak, without mention that its source is satirical in nature.
National Report has a disclaimer which clearly states that the website produces satirical content. The disclaimer – which has been removed on at least one occasion – reads:
*DISCLAIMER: National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental . The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help (and you may be if you are on this page), please consult a professional. National Report is intended for a mature audience and not for children under the age of 18.
Further proof of the article’s fictitious nature is the school named in the article. The story cites “Argon Elementary School” in San Francisco. This appears to be a variation of a real school there by the name of Argonne Elementary.
The photo used in the story included a caption which read, “Outside Argon Elementary school where the war on Christmas was declared.” The image is actually a snapshot of Parr’s Ridge Elementary School in Maryland.
An email address for the “teacher” is included at the end of the article, which prompts angry readers to write in to wish him a Merry Christmas. We suspect this address was probably set up to either track the popularity of the fake article, or to collect email addresses of readers.
A 9-year old was not suspended for saying “Merry Christmas” to his teacher. The story was published by a satirical website.
- 9-Year-Old Suspended For Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ To Teacher (Steve Middleton, National Report: December 11, 2013)