No more Father's, Mother's Day? School nixes celebration in the post-nuclear age
Michelle Allaby found it upsetting that Mother's Day and Father's Day are no longer being celebrated at Astral Drive Elementary School in Dartmouth, N.S., which her children attend.
Christina Commisso, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:34AM EDT
A Nova Scotia school is causing controversy after deciding to stop celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, instead opting to recognize the International Day of Families instead.
The Dartmouth elementary school said it is aiming to celebrate diversity and inclusivity while avoiding making children who are part of non-traditional families feel left out.
“Children can be isolated in a classroom if they’ve lost their mom or are in a family without a dad or in a family with two moms or two dads,” Education Minister Ramona Jennex recently told CTV Atlantic, adding that it’s up to the individual schools to decide how to celebrate mothers and fathers.
As part of the family day celebrations, which took place May 15, students at Astral Drive Elementary School were asked to write the names of all the people who supported them in their lives, on a large tree hung in the gymnasium.
Some parents have applauded the move to not celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day as a sign of a more inclusive environment, while others have said the school is taking political correctness too far.
According to 2011 census data from Statistics Canada, more than 1.5 million households in Canada are single-parent homes, up from about 1.4 million recorded in 2006 --representing an increase of 8 per cent.
The 2011 census also counted more than 64,500 same-sex couple families, up 42.4 per cent from 2006.
The push to celebrate non-traditional families has been ramping up in recent years.
A petition launched by a U.S. woman earlier this month asked Hallmark to create Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards for same-sex parents.
Kristiana Johnston of South Carolina, a daughter of a same sex couple, said the first time she gave her biological mom’s partner a Mother’s Day card was a moment she would never forget.
“She was so touched that she began to cry,” Johnston’s Change.org petition reads. “I told her that even though she wasn't my birth mother, she'd always be my mom and that I loved her.”
“Having two moms or two dads doesn't make a family any less loving or special,” she writes. “I know it would mean so much to my moms -- and moms like mine all over America -- if Hallmark made cards celebrating families like ours.”
The petition has received more than 1,500 signatures.
U.S. retailer JC Penney’s caused some controversy last year when it released Mother’s Day and Father’s Day advertisements celebrating two-mom and two-dad families.
The company said it stood behind its gay-friendly ads, even after some conservative groups called for a boycott of the retailer.