London, Dec. 11 (ANI): Schoolchildren in Sweden have been banned from dressing up as gingerbread men for a Christmas parade because their teachers fear the costumes could be considered racist.
Youngsters from a primary school in Laxa told their parents they had been ordered not to wear the outfits for the St Lucia celebrations on Thursday.
Traditionally, children dress as either St Lucia, or gnomes, stars, or gingerbread men for the candle-lit parade, the Daily Mail reports.
But heartbroken 10-year-old Mio Simiv was told he could not wear his gingerbread man costume to the celebration because it might be seen as ‘offensive’.
“I thought he had to have got it wrong so I called the school and they said people might find a brown gingerbread character offensive,” his angry mother Jenny Simic told local media.
“I said, well then my son won’t participate. He won’t support some Ku Klux Klan procession – because that’s what the little Lucias look like when they all come in with white hoods and white dresses,” she added.
According to the report, she later sent a text message to Mio’s teacher to see if the ban still stood.
“I know what you think and what you’re writing. Unfortunately we have no gingerbread men or songs in our procession! We cannot offer gingerbread cookies because of allergies among pupils,” she received the response.
A school spokesman blamed the row on a ‘misunderstanding’.
“The children and their teachers chose the songs for the parade and they didn’t chose the gingerbread boy song, so there will be no gingerbread boys,” district schools head Marghareta Zetterlund claimed.
“We don’t serve gingerbread cookies because of possible nut allergies. I can’t comment on who might find the costumes offensive,” she added. (ANI)