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Teacher who said Santa is 'white' placed on paid leave

A suburban Albuquerque teacher who told a black student that Santa Claus is white has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Rio Rancho school district spokeswoman Kim Vesely confirmed the punishment Monday to Albuquerque television stations KOAT and KOB. But she didn't say for how long, and she couldn't immediately be reached for further comment Tuesday.

The teacher's comments came week after students at Cleveland High School were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.

Michael Rougier says when his ninth-grade son, Christopher, arrived with Santa hat and beard, the teacher asked, "Don't you know Santa Claus is white? Why are you wearing that?"

The incident happened the same week that Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly said both Santa Claus and Jesus were white.

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