A killjoy kindergarten has banned Father Christmas for its pupils in Austria after heads ruled that Santa breaches the nursery’s diversity guidelines.
Infant schools across the country traditionally mark the start of the Yuletide season with a visit by St Nick to give presents to pupils.
But a kindergarten in the tiny Alpine community of Plainfeld, near Salzburg, has astonished Town Hall officials by banning him.
Local media reported that school heads say St Nicholas breaches the nursery’s “diversity” guidelines claiming parents have complained.
In local decades-old traditions, St Nick visits schools distributing presents and treats on 6th December.
Town Mayor Wolfgang Ganzenhuber said: “Outraged parents have complained to the community. Nobody understood why.”
The school, according to local media, says some of its pupils could be frightened by St Nick’s visit.
But baffled Ganzenhuber said: “No one has ever complained to me about Santa Claus coming to the children.”
The Christmas mystery deepened when local media reported that the kindergarten has only a handful of children from a migrant background.
Mayor Ganzenhuber said: “The kindergarten’s plans really horrified me.”
Now school bosses have agreed to let parents have a final say with a vote on whether the Santa ban should stay or go.
The ban has outraged Austrian model Kerstin Lechner who said the school heads are ruining Christmas for their pupils.
She said: “I was always very excited, in a positive sense, when Saint Nicholas came to kindergarten, and YES, I can still remember it very well… and I find it borderline to abolish such a great tradition.”