A scrooge headteacher has been blasted after banning pupils from sending Christmas cards to help the environment – which he announced in a letter sent to all parents.
Jonathan Mason was accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’ with his ‘Grinch-like’ plans to stop children from sending festive greeting cards to one another.
In a letter sent out to 275 parents, the head of Belton Lane Primary School in Grantham, Lincolnshire, asks pupils to only send one card to their entire class.
But angry parents have criticised the move to ban a tradition dating back over 170 years especially in such a ‘contradictory’ manner.
In a letter (pictured) sent out to 275 parents, the head of Belton Lane Primary School in Grantham, Lincolnshire, asks pupils to only send one card to their entire class
Mr Mason claimed the decision was made after the idea came from several children themselves in a bid to help the environment.
He wrote: ‘I have been approached by a number of children recently who are concerned about the impact of sending Christmas cards on the environment.
‘Throughout the world, we send enough Christmas cards that if we placed them alongside each other, they’d cover the world’s circumference 500 times.
‘The manufacture of Christmas cards is contributing to our ever-growing carbon emissions.
Belton Lane Primary School in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Angry parents have criticised the move to ban a tradition dating back over 170 years
‘So in order to be an environmentally friendly in school, we will not be having a post box for Christmas cards from this year onwards.
‘Instead, can we encourage you to save money and the environment by not sending cards to all of the children in the class individually, but instead if you want to send a card please send one card to the whole class.
‘Teachers can then display the cards in the classroom for everyone to see.’
However, the request was not met favourably by some parents of children who attend the school.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘I know quite a few parents who are upset about this.
Mr Mason claimed the decision was made after the idea came from several children themselves in a bid to help the environment
‘Why should children have the joy of taken out of Christmas? Why can’t all these cards be recycled anyway? And I buy a lot of Christmas cards for charity.
‘Where is all the Christmas spirit in this?
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‘It’s great to see them come out of school with their cards and a smile on their faces. It’s a Christmas tradition they have had for a long time and now they are taking it away.
‘I know we have to protect the environment, but these are a few Christmas cards once a year and to be told about this on a piece of paper seems contradictory.’
Another mother added: ‘Telling people to stop sending cards in a letter sent out to hundreds of kids stinks of rank hypocrisy.
‘I hope parents boycott these Grinch-like plans and keep this tradition alive by sending lots of cards to their little pals.
‘They are mostly recyclable anyway. I agree that environmental issues are important but I don’t see recyclable Christmas cards as a massive contributor to these problems.’
Other parents took to social media to comment on the plans with Lucy Fairbrother writing on Facebook: ‘Most cards can be recycled!
‘There’s too much technology with emailing & texting a ‘Happy Christmas’ wish! It’s so sad to see all the old traditions dying.’
Glenn Gelsthorpe added: ‘Would be a good idea to send Mr Mason a Christmas card from every pupil*’
Mike N Bry Collins said: ‘Most cards are made from responsibly sourced paper and are recyclable.
‘So what’s the problem. Just out to spoil Christmas for the children by the sound of it. Bah humbug.’
Another mother Katrina Oswin, agreed with the plans and said: ‘I think it’s a good idea especially from personal experience having a child who had some learning difficulties with spelling being one.
‘Writing out 30+ cards was a struggle not a happy experience but she felt it was something she had to do.
‘Writing one meaningful card to her whole class would of been so much easier and I agree this way no child is left out.’
Belton Lane is a mixed, community primary school for 275 pupils aged between 4 and 11, which was rated ‘Good’ at its last Ofsted inspection in March 2016.
The school has been a National Trust Guardianship School for Belton House, a Grade I listed Stuart era house situated down the road, since April 2008.
Mr Mason was unavailable for comment today.