In an effort to be inclusive of all family types, Albert McMahon Elementary School in Mission, British Columbia, isn’t focusing on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day during school hours. They’ve cancelled an arts and crafts activity where kids make presents for their parents on these holidays, and are instead, leaving the holiday celebration up to families. Makes sense, right?
The note sent home with kids stated that it was an “effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families.” Kids in non-traditional families like single parent families, kids raised by grandparents, or those with same-sex parents or parents of non-conforming gender identities might feel left out on such holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day.
“The reasoning wasn’t some cabal or some political plan,” Mission School Public School District Superintendent Angus Wilson told King 5. “Instead, there has been a recent trauma involving a student and its parents.”
Despite, this positive move to show love to all families, some “traditional,” one dad, one mom heteronormative families felt singled out and got a little angry.
One dad even went to the effort of expressing his anger on Facebook:
“Had to post this,” he writes. “I think disappointed is an understatement… I don’t 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 doesn’t even have anything to do with religion? You can’t celebrate your Mom and Dad?”
Mr. Glebe didn’t seem to understand that the school’s policy has nothing to do with religion or races or ethnicities, but rather the structure of families and those that don’t have a Mom or Dad to celebrate at home.
Some people tried to explain to him that no child wants to feel left out. However, others just didn’t get it either and called the school’s new policy “ridiculous” and “bullshit.”
One even went so far as to say: “Traditional families should have a voice too not just the ‘non traditional’ ones. It’s going too far.” (As if they hadn’t had one for all of history…)
What’s best to focus on with this school isn’t the angry “traditional” families, but the amazing efforts of the school to show their support of all their families, by being considerate of their children’s feelings. They didn’t cut out a necessary aspect of education like music, history, science, or art (as some schools do) that children need to grow and learn as citizens of society. Rather, they’re moving forward and creating a positive environment.
So to that, we say thank you and keep it up, Mission School. We support you.