Listen MPR News Bob Collins and Tom Weber discuss if public schools should celebrate holidays?
February 3, 2016
A St. Paul school is putting a stake in the very heart of Valentine’s Day.
Principal Scott Masini of Bruce Vento Elementary School sent a letter home to parents announcing that “dominant” holidays would no longer be celebrated at the school. These include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day, the Star Tribune reports today.
Christmas? That makes sense. It’s a religious holiday and Masini’s student body is made of lots of non-Christians. Halloween? Some people find it satanic. Thanksgiving? Your guess is as good as mine, pilgrim.
But Valentine’s Day? Good. It’s a day of commercialism and a lot of people in love don’t like it anymore. People shouldn’t feel obligated to express their love; that’s not the way love works. But go ahead and try to get through Valentine’s Day without running up a big tab.
Save yourselves while you still can, kids.
Masini’s letter made its way to an ultra-secret Facebook page for people who love St. Paul schools and teachers, but many don’t love Masini’s decision, the Strib says.
By daybreak Thursday, there were dozens of comments left on the page, which was started by parents in the district two years ago in connection with teacher contract talks.
“Very sad. All the fun is gone,” read one posting. “Totally ridiculous” and “Tired of the PC,” read two others.
In support, one commenter said she believes Masini and his staff are “being sensitive to children at their school who do not practice these holidays due to religious beliefs. … Holidays are very personal. Every family has a different take on how they celebrate or do not celebrate them.”
Another commenter said she teaches at Bruce Vento. She wrote that the principal “is under an immense amount of pressure from many of his own staff who dispute his decision. … Masini is truly trying to be inclusive of his student population … ”
The school district in Malden, Mass., the second most diverse school system in that state, dumped Valentine’s Day three years ago, opting to observe “Friendship Day” instead. That’s something that won’t cost you a dime.