The man dressed as Santa told police he just wanted to spread some Christmas cheer.
But when he started knocking on windows at schools in Hollis, N.H., and waving at children, educators panicked, recesses were cancelled, parents were warned about a strange man in a suit, and police were called in to investigate.
Police said a primary school called to say the man had run around the school waving to students around 9:50 a.m. on Thursday. He left the school before police arrived, but called officers at 12:30 p.m. to identify himself.
The man "had no ill intentions," police said.
The man was not charged, but the school district's superintendent John Moody told the Nashua Telegraph the unplanned visit by the man means they will be reviewing policies.
Moody added it is "sad we live in a world now that you have to be vigilant and cautious about anything that's out of the ordinary or a little strange."