South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Our Call: Diversity and inclusion are important; so is Santa



One of the longest-running traditions in the 30 years of The Call is local students writing letters to Santa, an annual chronicle of what toys are most popular and what hopes and dreams children have.

Since at least 2007, students from both Lindbergh Schools and the Mehlville School District have participated in The Call’s Santa letters.

Some wish for world peace, while others just wish for the latest video game. Either way, it’s fun to see what children are thinking and wanting in an ever-changing world. Few things stay the same, but children’s love of Santa spans generations.

But this year, Lindbergh decided not to participate due to an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Not every child celebrates Christmas, or Santa.

Is this a real problem, or is political correctness out of control?

Diversity and inclusion cannot be emphasized enough, as we’ve seen in a month that has seen South County make international news for cultural bias with the Mehlville classroom assignment asking students to “set your price for a slave” and a $20 million verdict against St. Louis County for discriminating against now-Lt. Keith Wildhaber of Oakville.

But we’re not sure that keeping children from writing to Santa is the answer.

Sometimes something that makes academic sense just doesn’t make sense in practice. One Missouri lawmaker launched a campaign against the statue of the goddess of Ceres on top of the Capitol’s dome because Christians could be offended at the image of a Roman goddess. Should Christmas in Crestwood be banned from Crestwood City Hall and Breakfast with Santa be ended in Sunset Hills? Should there be no White House Christmas tree? Should NORAD stop using military base resources to “track” Santa?

These questions could go on and on. But we believe that every child should get to enjoy the magic of Christmas, whether in a classroom, at home or at City Hall.

Lindbergh has also recently focused more on the social and emotional well-being of its students, especially the teenagers at Lindbergh High School, who face a scary world out there right now.

Perhaps happy memories of the magic and childhood joy of Christmas are one of the tools that can be used to combat the challenges of adolescence and even adulthood.

However you celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful holiday.

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