9-Year-Old Suspended For Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ To Teacher

War on Christmas

Outside Anon Elementary school where the war on Christmas was declared.

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.

UPDATE 12/12/13:

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!

Email: [email protected]



  1. Paul can use a permanent vacation!

  2. Vincent Beers says:

    The teacher should have been suspended, not the kid.

    This country is founded on religious tolerance and has grown from its roots to remove slavery and other forms of intolerance.

    Anti-religious nutbags are just as bad for cramming their anti-god garbage down your throat as the religious extremists are for going the other direction.

    Tolerance is required by law in both directions whether you believe in a god or not; Christmas is a national holiday, it doesn’t require that you support the entire religious system that spawned its idea but you do not punish a child for celebrating a national holiday.

    We don’t need ignorant teachers like this, his only agenda is to scare kids into being atheist when it’s quite frankly none of his business. He should have responded with “Happy holidays” and got on with his life.

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