The Fort Worth school district "loves Santa."
Officials posted a note on the district's website this morning seeking to clarify its position on Santa Claus after the Star-Telegram reported on updated guidelines that say Santa is not allowed to visit classes.
Interim Superintendent Walter Dansby said that Santa is welcome on campus: "He can be in the lobby. He can be in the cafeteria. He can be in the auditorium. He can be in the school, outside the school, around the school. But he cannot visit the classroom while the teacher is teaching."
Principals were told by the district's chief of schools on Tuesday that, "No instructional time may be devoted to classroom visits by characters associated with holidays (Santa Claus, Easter bunnies, Cupids, etc.). PTAs or parent groups may choose to sponsor such activities, but they shall not occur during the instructional day."
The district today also said that students can exchange presents and holiday cards before and after class, in the hallway and in the lunchroom, but not during classroom instruction.
A spokesman on Thursday had said that students were allowed to hand out presents and cards for celebrations such as Christmas and Valentine's Day before school, after school or during lunch.
The issue has drawn criticism from parents.
But the school district said Friday: "Fort Worth ISD loves Santa Claus and continues to support his universal message of generosity and kindness."