'Scrooge' teacher reined in overSantagaffe
Leatrice Ann Eng, 58, called each of the students' parents with a yuletide mea culpa for her gaffe.
Ms Eng was in the middle of a lesson about the North Pole on Tuesday when one of her students pointed out that was where Santa Claus lives.
The teacher replied that not only was there no Santa but it was their mums and dads who left their presents under the tree.
The comment outraged parents who branded her a "real-life Scrooge".
"It's sad. She was wrong," said Irene Hoffman, a mother of three children at George W. Miller Elementary School in Nanuet, New York.
"This whole thing is being blown out of proportion. I think we should focus on our children's education and just move on."