An Australian childcare center is facing blowback from parents after revealing it would be replacing Santa Claus with a “Sustainability Pirate” at an end-of-year party set to take place on Friday.
The Kensington Children’s Cooperative, a childcare center located in Melbourne, is switching things up from past years when Santa featured prominently in holiday celebrations, Australia’s 7News reported.
After receiving new grant funding for environmental projects, the center has decided to replace Santa this year with a “Sustainability Pirate” in order to promote inclusion.
Sustainability, as defined by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, is an environmentally conscious concept that means “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The term is common parlance among trendy eco-activists like Greta Thunberg.
But for some, including Kensington parents, the idea of a “Sustainability Pirate” is political correctness run amok.
“It’s PC gone wild,” said Kristoffer Paulsen, a dad whose child attends Kensington, in an interview with 7News. “Can’t we even have this?”
“If anyone has a clue about the sustainability pirate, and what drugs they were taking when they came up with that, I would like to know,” Paulsen added.
Paulsen said the move has upset parents, with many of them taking to social media to complain about Santa’s absence.
“My first feeling was just sadness,” said parenting expert Jules Allen, who spoke to 7News about the controversy.
“There’s so much loss of innocence going on,” Allen said.
Allen told 7News the omission of Santa feels like a decision driven more by politics than by inclusion or diversity.
The center has justified the move by saying its “priority is that everyone feels welcome regardless of their religion, culture or spiritual beliefs,” according to 7News.