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?