Canadian School Cancels Mother's Day Activities

  • Kristina Evans
  • May 13, 2017 1:38PM

A Canadian elementary school is under social media fire for canceling activities designed to celebrate Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day in the name of inclusivity.

Albert McMahon Elementary School, located in Mission, British Columbia (BC), sent a letter home May 1 with first and second graders notifying parents of their decision to nix any classroom gift-making for Mom (and later, Dad) this year.

“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,” the letter read. “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.”

Roy Glebe, a parent at the school, sparked the intense criticism online by sharing the letter on his Facebook. He expressed his negative opinion of the decision, writing:

“I think disappointed 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 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?”

Another person added to Glebe’s commentary, writing: “There is no better feeling than watching the pure excitement and pride in your child when they give you the treasure they lovingly made for you. The secret work at school finally unveiled; I will miss it.”

Commenters on Glebe’s post were divided, although online opinions jumped to attacking the school and calling it a war on the family. As one site said, “Thanks for your permission to celebrate Mother’s Day at home, especially after giving my child the message that Mother’s Day is not okay. If the ideologues are not trying to cancel Mother’s Day, they are degrading it, and motherhood and family life along with it.” This sentiment was echoed by so many that the superintendent of the BC school, Angus Wilson, started interviewing with local news in an effort to combat the negativity- and provided the real reason the school was doing away with Mother’s Day crafts this year.

“Two classes chose not to do a Mother’s Day thing due to a trauma at the school,” he told reporters. “The reasoning wasn’t some cabal or some political plan. Instead, there has been a recent trauma involving a student and its parents.” He added that he could not disclose the nature of the trauma due to student confidentiality rules. “The messaging home was not great,” he lamented as well. But given that Mother’s Day is not an official holiday, teachers are completely within their rights to drop these activities from their plans as they are not part of the school curriculum.

“There’s no politically correct plan,” he repeated in a different phone interview. “We’re not shooting the Easter Bunny.”