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School Nixes Mother's Day and Father's Day for More Inclusive 'International Day of Families

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Mothers and fathers, beware: Your days of honor may soon be expiring.

An elementary school in Nova Scotia has made a curious decision to cancel Mother's Day and Father's Day celebrations and to, instead, replace them with a more benign "Family Day" commemoration. The full name of the holiday the school has chosen to observe is the International Day of Families, an annual event that is recognized by the United Nations (it falls on May 15).

Astral Drive Elementary School has caught the ire of some parents, though, who see the change in celebration as unneeded and over-the-top. While the change has been on the books for a few years, it's just now gaining media attention.

The U.N. has more about this intriguing holiday:

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.

In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family-related provisions of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s and their follow-up processes continue to provide policy guidance on ways to strengthen family-centred components of policies and programmes as part of an integrated comprehensive approach to development.

The International Day of Families has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, that day provides an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. Activities include workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programmes highlighting relevant themes.

While the school apparently made the amendment to accommodate more traditional families, Michelle Allaby, a parent of a child at the school, doesn't agree with the decision to stop observing Mother's Day and Father's Day, CTV News reports.

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"They weren’t allowed to make a card or a craft at Mother’s Day," Allaby told the outlet. "So, I asked my friends that go to schools in the neighboring area, and they said yes, that their child had come home with a Mother’s Day card or craft, and it was a little upsetting to me."

CTV News has more about how Astral Drive Elementary School celebrates the holiday:

As part of Family Day, students at the school were asked to write the names of all the people that supported them in their lives on a large tree hung in the gymnasium.

Family Day has been in place at the the school for two years. While some parents say it takes political correctness too far, others like that it is more inclusive.

While Allaby seems to think it is an example of political correctness run-amok, other parents enjoy the accommodations it grants to non-traditional families.

"I am the head of a single-family home, and I am mother and father," said Shirley Owen, another parent.

It's certainly true that non-traditional families are increasing in prevalence, but an argument could be made that there is no need to stop commemorating Mother's Day and Father's Day. Some might even say that all three could be celebrated.

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