American beverage giant Coca-Cola uses Christmas and Santa Claus to help promote sales of its leading sodas in Beijing on December 19, 2013. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo
HOLLIS, N.H., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Police in New Hampshire said a Santa Claus whose presence at a school prompted recesses to be canceled in the district was trying to spread "holiday cheer."
Hollis police Lt. Rich Mello said officers were called to Hollis Primary School just before 10 a.m. Thursday after a report of a mystery Santa tapping on windows and waving to students from outside the school, the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph reported Friday.
The man was gone before police arrived and other schools in the district were notified. Interim Superintendent Dr. John Moody said students were kept inside for recess as a precaution and parents were notified of the incident.
Mello said the mystery Santa contacted police around 12:30 p.m. to identify himself. Mello said the man, whose name was not released because he is not being charged with a crime, told officers he was trying to "spread some holiday cheer."
"He just thought it would be a cool holiday thing for the kids to see Santa wave through the window," Mello said. "He kind of set off a firestorm of precautions."
Moody said the school is revisiting some protocols after it emerged that the man was let into the building and administrators were not immediately notified when he was spotted on the grounds.
"There were some serious violations of our protocol relative to visitors to the school," Moody said. "We cannot accept anyone we do not recognize into the building. There were certainly things that should have been done differently."