A high school teacher at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico who told an African-American student that Santa is white, has been put on paid administrative leave, according to NBC News, Dec. 16, 2013. The teacher allegedly made the comments to the student when he appeared at the school dressed as Santa after students were encouraged to come to school dressed as holiday characters.
The teacher has admitted that the comments were "stupid" and "should not have been made" since they were made public. The teacher is new to the New Mexico school district and apparently does regret his unfortunate comments immensely.
The boy's father stated that the teacher's comments were "embarrassing" to his son. The teacher's comments were made amidst a hailstorm of irresponsible comments that were made by a radio show anchor who also alleged that Santa was white. The radio anchor's comments were made in response to very controversial comments made by Slate.com to the effect that Santa should not be portrayed as belonging to any race, but instead should be portrayed as a penguin.