World War II vet responds to teacher's racist Santa remarks

Posted at: 12/14/2013 7:30 PM
Updated at: 12/16/2013 12:57 AM
By: Jeffery Gordon,

A local World War II veteran responded to racist remarks made by a Rio Rancho teacher.

Friday night, KOB Eyewitness News 4 brought viewers the story of a Cleveland High School teacher who called out an African American student because he was dressed as Santa Claus.

The teacher reportedly told student Christopher Rougier:

“Christopher, don’t you know Santa Claus is white? Why are you wearing that?”  

Veteran Earl Richards told KOB 4 that he was incredibly moved by the story.

"It’s hard in life to put words together but sometimes you make mistakes, and I hope that you feel that you made a mistake and say you're sorry for what you said,” Richards said. “I think that would be very important. I have nothing against you, or nothing like that."

Richards says he wants to make sure the student’s Christmas is not spoiled by the controversy. 

The story has recieved national attention since it was first reported by KOB on Friday. 

The NAACP sent KOB 4 a statement, which reads:

"Hopefully the principal, the teacher and the guardian will hold a private meeting to see what damage has been done to the child. Maybe Rio Rancho Public Schools need a diversity and multicultural education specialist to train teachers about proper classroom etiquette."

Stay tuned to KOB Eyewitness News 4 and for more information on this story.