Many children are bringing home handmade crafts for their moms this Mother’s Day weekend, but hundreds of kids in Bowmanville, Ont., are coming home from school empty-handed.
The head of St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School decided to nix all festivities surrounding the day as well as Father’s Day in June.
“The principal, dealing with some issues within the school,” said Galen Eagle from the school’s board, “thought the act of exclusively dedicating class time for activities for a mom or a dad excluded some students who may have had a loss in the family or whose family dynamics have changed throughout the years.”
Several parents from the school are now speaking out, saying they did not have a hand in this decision. “The importance of this is that their voices maybe weren’t heard… were not brought to the council level, where our administration could clearly hear what the opinions of the majority are,” said Jen Ball, a parent of three students at the school and the Catholic School Council Chair at St. Joseph French Immersion Centre.
“Moms and Dads should be celebrated,” said Dawar Taylor, who also has three children attending the school. “I look forward to these crafts. I don’t know if it’s in our best interest as a school community to take that away from the most influential people in our children’s lives.”
St. Joseph is one of two schools within the PVNCCDSB to veto the festivities this year, the other school being St. Michael C.E.S. in Cobourg. But the idea is not a novel one — a B.C. school cancelled all related activities in 2017, and this was also to be more inclusive to all families.
The principal of the Bowmanville elementary school sent out an email apology to parents on Friday, saying, “I understand that for some, it left the impression that I do not value the role of our mothers and fathers. For that, I am truly sorry. I absolutely honour and respect the challenging and rewarding job of parenting.”
The note also mentioned that there will be upcoming opportunities for kids to make their families keepsakes, including a Kindergarten Family Picnic that is scheduled for June 20.