In Valentine’s Day flap, racism is a ‘core value’

St. Paul schools Superintendent Valeria Silva said she’s gotten racist letters — and worse — on the decision of a school to eliminate “celebration” of Valentine’s Day and several other holidays, the Pioneer Press reports today.

Scott Masini, the principal at the Bruce Vento Elementary School, told me last week — he hasn’t talked to the media since a world of criticism rained down on him — that he canceled Valentine’s Day observances because he and his staff hadn’t had a chance to decide on how to comply with a 40-year-old district policy in the district discouraging such celebrations, and he didn’t want parents spending money on Valentine’s Day cards they couldn’t use.

The Internet took it from there.

“The emails, the voice-mails keep coming about bowing down to Sharia law and everything down to conflating it with Obamacare,” Ryan Vernosh, the district’s communications director, told the paper.

Most of the students at Vento are black and Asian. Most are poor.

The school board will discuss the brouhaha tonight, the Press says.

Board president Jon Schumacher said he generally supports the policy but wants it worded in a more positive fashion, which would make room for “meaningful celebrations of core values.

The school board is expected to discuss the matter during a work session Tuesday night. Board president Jon Schumacher said he generally supports the policy but wants it worded in a more positive fashion, which would make room for “meaningful celebrations of core values.

“The idea that these celebrations should include all of our kids and be fun for all of our kids and be teachable opportunities … I think that those basics are correct,” he said. “Unfortunately, it says it in a negative way.”

Teachable opportunities. Let’s talk about that.

What are the teachable opportunities of Valentine’s Day?

And if we’re sending racist letters because a principal followed a district policy, what exactly are these “core values” we’re supposed to celebrate?

  • Al

    …Why does the school board need to discuss it, if it’s helping the school’s students and NONE of the school’s parents take issue with it?

    • BJ

      >Why does the school board need to discuss it

      They are politicians, and it is in the news.

      Since it is a policy they have had since the 1970’s I’m guessing it will be a short discussion.

      • Al

        Touché. 🙂

  • Rob

    And just when I’m trying to stop being a misanthrope, more feeble-minded attacks on well-meaning public servants…

  • Jeff

    I’m not sure everyone could agree on what our “core values” are these days. But I’m willing to have a Core Value holiday if I get the day off.

    • Kassie

      I hear you on that! Let’s make it a late March holiday, I always feel like the long gap between President’s Day and Memorial Day is too long.

      • Jeff

        Yes, but they might have trouble getting the Equal Opportunity parade float through the snow.

      • fromthesidelines21

        Try New Year’s day to Memorial day. No Presidents day off for most people I know.

        • Kassie

          President’s and MLK around here. You need to get yourself a union!

          • fromthesidelines21

            No thanks. Employer treats us well without a union. Not that I’m generally opposed.

      • boB from WA

        In the “old” days Easter used to be considered a holiday (holy day).

      • joetron2030

        Some of us don’t get a holiday off after New Year’s Day until Memorial Day.

  • Sue

    Unbelievable that people can send these hate-filled racist letters and then turn around and call themselves Christians.

    • boB from WA

      Or worse support a holiday which promotes “love”

      BTW You don’t know if they are “Christians”.

    • Fred, Just Fred

      Isnt there a Christian-free zone that extends within a 500′ perimeter around public schools?

  • lindblomeagles

    I’m not surprised at all by the racist comments Valeria or the Principal have received. As I’ve stated, repeatedly, a lot of the comments people made about President Barack Obama were racists, and some of those people, who shall remain nameless, contribute to News Cut. What IS ironic is the message from MLK Day (January 17), Lincoln and Washington’s Birthday (February 15), and Valentine’s Day (February 14) days within one another is UNITY, PEACE, and LOVE. We’ve somehow managed to get off topic with this topic, me included. The day, or lack thereof, shouldn’t divide us to the degree that racial comments are voluntarily shared as if putting on a pair of pants. Martin, Abe, George, and Cupid, are all ashamed of us right now.