School cancels Mother's Day activities due to 'trauma' not PC culture, says official
Students in Grades 1 and 2 at Albert McMahon elementary school in Mission, B.C., will not be making crafts for Mother's Day or Father's Day. (Kaboompics / Karolina)
Two classes at a B.C. elementary school will not celebrate Mother's or Father's Day this year due to a "trauma at the school” and not out of an attempt to be politically correct, the school board superintendent says.
Albert McMahon elementary school, in Mission, B.C., has faced intense criticism on social media recently, after a letter home to parents surfaced on Facebook. In the letter, the school's Grade 1 and 2 teachers say they are nixing Mother's and Father's Day crafts "in an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusiveness and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families.
"Due to this, the children will not be making gifts at school to give on Mother's Day and Father's Day," the letter said.
A copy of the letter was posted online by Roy Glebe, whose child attends the school. "I don't understand why we, as Canadians, need to give up our traditions that have been passed through generations," he wrote, in a post that generated many outraged comments.
But Angus Wilson, superintendent of the Mission District Public School Board, says the letter did not address the real reason why the celebrations were cancelled. "Two classes chose not to do a Mother's Day thing due to a trauma at the school," he told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Wednesday. He added that he could not disclose the nature of the trauma due to student confidentiality rules.
"The messaging home was not great," Wilson said of the letter. He added that the teachers in this situation were fully within their rights to drop their Mother's Day plans, because the holiday is not part of the school curriculum.
"There's no politically correct 'plan,'" he said. "We're not shooting the Easter Bunny."
Wilson says the school has received international attention for the decision, which many have been quick to condemn without looking into the reasons behind it. "The lack of fact-checking… is kind of shocking," he said.
Online reaction has been largely negative to the issue, with many claiming their traditions are under siege.
However, some have acknowledged that Mother's or Father's Day can be particularly painful for those who have recently suffered the loss of a parent.
"As an adult living with the loss of a parent, I can't imagine being in a room full of people making Father's Day cards," user Amanda Roste wrote on Facebook. "I don't think I could handle that at 30, let alone 10."