The holidays put everyone on edge, but it's done a number on San Francisco's Argonne Elementary School which was the recent victim of a satirical news story poking fun of the city's natural proclivity toward ridiculousness.
We came across the only-in-San Francisco-story on the Richmond District's neighborhood blog, which describes in detail how The National Report, which has a disclaimer on its site explaining that it is "a news and political satire web publication," published a story last week claiming a 9-year-old student was suspended from a San Francisco elementary school after wishing their teacher a "Merry Christmas."
As the blog notes, the school mentioned in the article was "Argon Elementary School in San Francisco," which is basically a riff off Argonne Elementary School which actually exists in the Richmond District. It appears the name of the school in the article has been changed to Anon Elementary, perhaps due to all the uproar.
The story only became problematic because it appears plenty of readers missed the point -- that San Francisco's "War on Christmas" was just a joke, and yes, the joke's on us.
Now for some fun comments from the story:
I would tell that mother and other parents STOP SENDING YOUR KIDS TO THESE LEFTIST INDOCTRINATION CENTERS!!! Good grief. Every time I read a story like this I am amazed that parents continue to stupidly send their kids to these schools where liberal leftists can indoctrinate them with all their perverted, godless, communist philosophies. No one is more poor than my husband and I but we make certain things a priority so that we don't have to send our kids to public school. We'll homeschool if we have to. But my son will never be suspended for saying "Merry Christmas" or kissing a girl's hand or biting a pop-tart into the shape of a gun or sing songs for Obama or learn about all sorts of perverted sex in sex ed.
Some even took the time to e-mail the fictitious teacher mentioned in the story:
Here is the email message I just sent to Mr. Horner: Mr. Horner, In reading the article about your 9-year-old student being suspended due to your intolerance for other beliefs, I would suggest you pursue a different profession that doesn't involve molding the minds of our youth. If you expect others to respect your atheistic beliefs, you should have tolerance for those that believe in a higher power. I am a firm believer that life is about learning from one's mistakes. I hope you are smart enough to acknowledge this is one of those situations, be accountable and apologize to the student and his parents, and take this as a life lesson learned. Merry Christmas.
There are 195-plus comments from angry readers (not necessary San Francisco residents). One parent reportedly told the Richmond blog that the school added more security on campus since the story spread. All of this holiday confusion prompted Cami Okubo, principal at Argonne Elementary, to fire off this letter to parents:
December 13, 2013
Dear Argonne School Community,
I am writing to inform you that a news story was published stating that a fourth grade student from Argon Elementary in San Francisco was suspended for saying "Merry Christmas" to a teacher. The incident did not occur at our school, Argonne Elementary or any school in the San Francisco Unified School District.
Thank you for continuing to support our school community.
Cami Okubo Principal at Argonne Elementary
So there you have it -- San Francisco isn't that crazy.