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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
World News

'The Easter Bunny is not real': Pastor's honesty sparks outrage in primary school

by Lydia Davies

A church pastor in Australia shocked both children and parents by announcing that the Easter Bunny is not real.

Pastor Jason Hoet, from Unley Park Baptist Church in Adelaide, found himself at the centre of controversy during a session with Year 4-6 students about Christian beliefs.

When unexpectedly asked about the Easter Bunny's reality, Pastor Hoet responded with honesty, stating that while the egg "symbolises new life," the Easter Bunny itself is not real.

This revelation did not sit well with the school community. Principal Liz Pelling expressed her dismay in a statement to Daily Mail Australia, saying: "We were extremely disappointed to learn that information shared has impacted the joy of Easter for our students and families."

In response, education minister Blair Boyer visited the school to distribute Easter eggs to the children, aiming to uplift spirits.

Pastor Hoet acknowledged his regret over how he addressed the Easter Bunny question, admitting he was embarrassed by his response.

"I was also asked if there was a devil and if Satan was real. I was concerned about the impact of that question," he told the local news outlet.

"I think my brain was going from a staff meeting with adults and I hadn't clicked into being in the zone with little kids, so when they asked I gave them an answer."

Despite his attempt to navigate these sensitive topics carefully, he recognised that his handling of the Easter Bunny query could have been better.

In an apologetic statement to school families, Pastor Hoet expressed understanding for their disappointment and offence. He said: "I appreciate why parents are disappointed and offended. Matters like these are a precious part of a child's life which a family enjoys and is responsible for,

"I acknowledge my words have impacted both this joy and responsibility. This grieves me."

Principal Pelling highlighted the diverse and inclusive nature of such sessions at the school over the years. She mentioned that many parents appreciated Pastor Hoet's apology, with reactions ranging from gratitude to sympathy for him.

Pastor Hoet has decided to step back from future Christian presentations at the school, reflecting on this experience.

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