Saugus school superintendent receives death threats after Santa dispute, board member says

The superintendent of schools in Saugus has received death threats over his order -- which he later reversed -- banning Santa Claus from visiting local schools, a school committee member said.

School superintendent Richard Langlois canceled a long-held tradition of firefighters dressing like Santa and visiting schools because he believed it conflicted with a policy banning the celebration of religious holidays in public schools.

But on Monday, he reversed this decision, allowing Santa to make his regularly scheduled trips.


Despite that, he’s received threats, said committee member Joseph S. Malone.

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“It’s a shame that an incident like this should blow up the way it has,” said Malone, adding that he believes police are investigating the threats. “Death threats -- that’s just appalling.”

Malone praised Langlois’s performance as school superintendent, noting the town’s rising test scores.

“It’s kind of a sad day for the entire town of Saugus,” he said.

Neither Langlois nor Saugus police immediately returned messages seeking comment this morning.

Jaime Lutz can be reached at