- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Canadian elementary school has canceled its Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events in the name of diversity and inclusivity.

Angus Wilson, superintendent of the Mission Public School District in Mission, British Columbia, said the decision to cancel events related to the holidays was made due to a recent tragedy involving a student’s family, ABC-affiliated KXTV reported.

“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,” read a letter sent home to parents from Albert McMahon Elementary School. “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.”

The letter received a considerable amount of attention after being posted Monday on Facebook by Roy Glebe, a parent at the school.

“I don’t understand why we, as Canadians, need to give up our traditions that have been passed through generations,” Mr. Glebe wrote in his post. “I welcome all races and ethnicities, but forcing us to give up things that are important to us as Canadians is crap.”

The superintendent said the decision had nothing to do with politics.

“The reasoning wasn’t some cabal or some political plan,” Mr. Wilson told KXTV. “Instead, there has been a recent trauma involving a student and its parents.”

Ms. Wilson wouldn’t go into the specifics about the trauma in an effort to keep the family’s identities private.

“This is not a school-district or board-of-education-endorsed initiative,” he told the Mission City Record.

Mr. Wilson said it was a decision made by staff at Albert McMahon.

“From a technical standpoint I have to mention that Mother’s Day, as with other holidays, is not actually an official part of the curriculum or any requirement,” he said. “So teachers deciding to not make observations or activities based around it are not violating any rule or breaking any law.”

Mr. Wilson acknowledged how the letter could have been misinterpreted and said he had “a few issues” with how the change was communicated.

“I think people are upset. They sort of wonder if this is really the best direction to go when you are trying to address diversity,” he told the Record.

“I’m going to be working with the school on how we communicate things home to parents and have an appropriate dialogue with them about things like this,” Mr. Wilson told KXTV.

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