San Francisco, CA — The ‘war on Christmas’ continues as a simple well-wishing of ‘Merry Christmas’ has led to big trouble for one fourth-grade San Francisco boy this week.
Timothy Dawson, a 9-year-old student at Anon Elementary School in San Francisco, CA., was in the school cafeteria Monday eating with friends when he was taken to the principal’s office and given a week-long suspension. His punishment was consequence for saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to his homeroom teacher earlier that morning.
Dawson’s teacher, 35-year-old Paul Horner who is an outspoken Atheist, was offended at the students display of Christmas spirit and had staff suspend the young boy for the rest of the week.
“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.”
Reporters spoke with Mr. Horner as he was leaving from school on Tuesday. “I warned the children not to bring religion into my classroom,” Horner said. “Maybe he’ll [Tim] listen to adults next time.”
Anon Elementary School officials declined to comment.
We have located the email address for the Atheist teacher in the story, Paul Horner. I think he deserves a nice well-wishing of Merry Christmas!