Dennis Jackson canned from Santa gig at Head Start
The holiday season is a tough time to lose your job -- especially if you're Santa Claus.
For the past four years, Dennis Jackson has dressed up as Santa and entertained kids at the Head Start program in St. Peter.
When he showed up to schedule this year's volunteer appearances, the administration told him that parents had complained about the annual Santa visits, and that he was no longer welcome.
"They said it's against some peoples' wishes," says Jackson. "It made me mad."
Jackson says he didn't get much in the way of an explanation from Head Start, so he penned a letter to the St. Peter Herald earlier this week protesting his dismissal. In the letter, Jackson complains that we've all taken this politically correct thing way too far.
"Why should the parents of approximately three or four children take the enjoyment away from 30 to 40 children?" writes Jackson. "I think the parents of these three or four children should sacrifice their wishes instead of Rule."
No one from Head Start could comment Wednesday on the nature of the complaints, but a representative told the Mankato Free Press that they came from families that don't observe Christmas.
Head Start is a private program that readies 3- to 4-year-old kids for school. Most come from low-income families, which is why Jackson says being cut was so disappointing.
"The kids really enjoyed it," he says. "They need something. I think it's good for them."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.