Head Start officials erred in ending Santa Claus visits to St. Peter Head Start classrooms and have unfairly made Somalis into scapegoats on the issue, say two Mankato Somalians who have lived in the community a combined 23 years.

"Why put a fire under Somalis?" Lul Ahmed said. "This is a lovely community where we live together. But we're being seen as negative, and we don't want that."

Fanah Adam, who has children in the Mankato Head Start program, said respect for differing cultures and customs is a two-way street — a concept that was sullied by prohibiting a Santa appearance because some families in the class reportedly objected to it.

Read the complete original version of this item...