An elementary school is cancelling Mother’s and Father’s Day events in an effort to celebrate diversity and inclusivity after a traumatic incident involving one of its students.
Staff from Albert McMahon Elementary School in Mission, British Columbia, Canada sent a letter to its students’ parents, indicating the cancellation of events related to the holidays. In it, the letter reads:
As Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approach we have met as a Primary (Grade 1 and 2) team to discuss our core values. In an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families, we have decided to encourage those celebrations to take place at home. Due to this, the children will not be making gifts at school to give on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We feel each family knows the best way to celebrate with their own family.
Mission Public School District Superintendent Angus Wilson confirmed the letter was sent to parents, but he noted the cancellation came with a valid reason.
“The reasoning wasn’t some cabal or some political plan,” Wilson said. “Instead, there has been a recent trauma involving a student and its parents.”
As a result, classrooms are choosing not to celebrate the holidays, Wilson added.
Wilson could not go into the specifics surrounding the “trauma” in an effort to keep the student’s and its parents’ identities private.
A picture of the letter was posted on Facebook on May 1 and was quickly shared amongst hundreds of people.
In it, the poster said:
I think disapointed [sic] is an understatement. This will be the first year that we don't get gifts crafted with love from our kids, and since we only have one little one now it makes it all that much worse. I dont understand why we, as Canadians, need to give up our traditions that have been passed through generations. I welcome all races and ethnicities, but forcing us to give up things that are important to us as Canadians is crap. And it doesnt even have anything to do with religion? You cant celebrate your Mom and Dad?
Wilson was aware of the Facebook posts, acknowledging how, without context, many could interpret the letter in a negative way. He added, however, virtually all the parents who did receive the letter understood why it had been sent and understood why the school was taking the direction it was.