Nova Scotia school nixes Mother's Day & Father's Day
The controversial move has sparked a heated debate.
By Emma Waverman, follow her on Twitter
A school in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has replaced Mother's Day and Father's Day with more inclusive activities that recognize International Day of the Family, on May 15.
Needless to say, getting rid of Mother's Day and Father's Day has drummed up some controversy. Cries of political correctness can be heard all over North America.
But does ditching the commercial holiday at school really represent a culture gone too far? I don't think so.
Instead of making role-specific cards, the kids made cards for anyone in their life who supports them and hung the cards on a giant tree in the gymnasium. I think this idea is really sweet. That way grandparents, caregivers and stepparents can also be acknowledged.
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This is the school's way of acknowledging diversity, making it easier for kids who may not have a mother and father in their home. Can you imagine how kids feel when they are expected to make cards for their fathers, when they don't have one? What if their mother has died? What if their stepmother is their main caregiver? What if you live in a home with two moms?
Ramona Jennex, Nova Scotia's minister of education, said, “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.”
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She added that individual schools can decide for themselves how to celebrate mothers and fathers.
A writer for The Stir disagrees with me. She says that feeling different is part of life:
We simply can't keep trying to make schools and the world in general places in which no one will get their feelings hurt. We will never create an all-inclusive utopia. It's not possible, nor is it even desirable. We all are different.
Different is not bad.
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She should tell that to a kid who has lost his parent to cancer, or a kid who is being bullied because she has gay parents. Kids who are different already know they are different. It is the kids who exist in the mainstream who need to learn to give a little.
The most important point here is that Mother's Day and Father's Day still exist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They fall on Sundays and kids can celebrate them with their families however they see fit. This just means that there wasn't a mandated card made in their Grade 3 classroom. There are still many hours after school, and the Saturday before, to make the biggest, most expressive Mother's Day and Father's Day cards imaginable. It's not the school's job, anyway.
Disagree? What would you do if your school did away with Mother's Day and Father's Day?
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Photo: Video still of Astral Drive Elementary School (Courtesy of Bell Media Television, http://aka.ms/ctv)
Still, if we have to have a day...why not Parent's day? That's what they do in some Asian countries.
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