A letter to parents of a Grade 1 and 2 class of a Mission school is sparking some discussion online today.
The Albert McMahon Elementary School sent a letter home to parents informing them that:
“In an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and also to 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 make on Mother’s and Father’s day. We feel each family knows the best way to celebrate with their own family.”
Roy Glebe, a Mission resident whose son goes to the school, received the letter and decided to share it on his Facebook page and a private Facebook group.
The letter has since generated thousands of comments and shares online with many weighing in on both sides of the issue.
“I wasn’t trying to hang the school out, I literally posted it for discussion,” said Glebe.
He said the school didn’t discuss the issue with parents or the decision and he admits he did find that “a little odd.”
“I think they could have found a better way for all the kids to participate instead of saying no to everybody,” he said.
Glebe said he knew it would drum up some conversation and he has enjoyed reading comments on both sides of the issue.
“I was actually happy it opened up so much discussion,” he said.
“The majority of it was good conversation back and forth on both sides.”
Glebe said he and his wife were upset about it because their child, who is in Grade 2, is their last child and having lost one previously, he said his wife was excited for her child to have this experience at his school.
“The way my wife describes it, is the look on your child’s face after working for weeks and weeks and coming out [of school] and all of the secrets and everything else, and they’re finally able to show you this thing that they’ve not been able to talk about for weeks and weeks; that to [us] is special,” said Glebe.
He says some other parents have now shared the letter on other Facebook pages and he and his wife sent an email to the principal of Albert McMahon about the issue.
CKNW reportedly spoke to Mission School Superintendent Angus Wilson who told them it’s up to the teachers and the school about what is covered in the classroom. “As needed, I’ve already contacted the principal and I’m happy to support and work with them on future decisions on matters like this,” Wilson told CKNW, adding he hasn’t talked to the teachers directly about the issue.
Global News has reached out to the Albert McMahon school for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.
“There is a lot of sides to look at in this type of situation,” said Glebe.
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