A Canadian elementary school took some flack after a decision that its first- and second-graders won't be making Mother's Day or Father's Day gifts this year in order to "celebrate diversity, inclusivity and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families."
The note to parents about the decision from Albert McMahon Elementary in Mission, British Columbia, was promptly posted on Facebook by a father who wrote "disappointed is an understatement."
"I welcome all races and ethnicities, but forcing us to give up things that are important to us as Canadians is crap," Roy Glebe wrote last week. "And it doesn't even have anything to do with religion? You cant celebrate your Mom and Dad?"
But district Superintendent Angus Wilson told CBC News that, while the note to parents doesn't mention it, the decision to not do gift-making was sparked by "a trauma that has been experienced at the school fairly recently" and "has nothing to do with the value of Mother's Day or civic holidays."
Wilson told the outlet that teachers are allowed to decide what they do in their classrooms apart from the curriculum.
Some of the comments on Glebe's post were incredulous about the decision.
"This is nuts, goodness me, for a few we change for all...where is (sic) common sense gone?" Denise Fleury Tinline wrote. "Yes there are kids who only have one parent, or may be foster kids, or kids who because of religion can't celebrate, but that's been going on forever. I still have stuff my kids made when they were little kids. What's next?"
Julia McCarron said: "This is crazy ridiculous! I have worked for almost 13 years with kids and it has never been an issue to celebrate what the child has!!!"
"They had better eliminate even the mention of any and all special days in school as any one of them might offend someone," Marc Beebe said. "That's inclusive, is it?"
But not all commenters agreed.
"I understand how wonderful it is to receive these gifts from children, but as an adult living with the loss of a parent I can't imagine being in a room full of people making father's day cards. I don't think I could handle that at 30, let alone 10," Amanda Roste wrote. "I would probably vomit and leave that room in tears. My father has been gone for nearly ten years and I have received years of counseling and thousands of dollars in psychotropic medication, but it still feels like an open wound in my chest."