Progressive policies upset progressives: Oregon parents outraged by school’s holiday party guidelines


Bethel School District is in Eugene, Oregon, which is extremely liberal.

From Register Guard: Parents in the Bethel School District are outraged. Their reason? No more school parties for Valentine’s Day.

The Bethel School Board will be holding a special board meeting Thursday evening after it was forced to call off a meeting Monday where more than 100 angry parents stormed the district office and refused to wait their turn to speak.

The group overflowed the small board room at the district office just after 7 p.m., reportedly yelling repeatedly at board members before board Chairwoman Dawnja Johnson adjourned the meeting about 30 minutes after it started.

At least one meeting attendee said board members turned their backs to members of the crowd while they were speaking out, and parents alleged that board members were rude to some people who came to the meeting. District spokesman Pat McGillivray later said the board members who did turn their backs, did so after the meeting was canceled.

In the past, students celebrated Valentine’s Day with the traditional exchange of cards and candy. But the district slowly has been phasing out those traditions for the past few years.

The new holiday guidelines have not been fully implemented at each school yet, but no schools in the Bethel district will have traditional Valentine’s Day parties — with candy and card exchanges — this year.

That prompted some parents to accuse the district of selectively “taking away” other traditional school holidays as well.

For instance, Bethel district students no longer wear costumes for Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations have been renamed “harvest parties.”

Such “reinventing” of traditional school holidays doesn’t sit well with some parents.

“It’s not just about Valentine’s Day,” said Ryan Hosek, a parent of two Prairie Mountain students. “They’re isolating the majority of kids’ feelings for the sake of a few, and that’s just not how the world works.  The lesson to be learned is to appreciate the difference and not ignore them because they make a small minority of people offended.”

District officials have said that organized holiday parties often end up excluding children whose parents don’t have the means to buy valentines, or students who don’t do well in a party setting, or students who don’t celebrate the holiday for religious or other reasons.

“As a public school system, we can’t intentionally plan events that we know will exclude children,” McGillivray said Tuesday. “Schools (in the district) are thinking creatively about how we celebrate with children and how we can have those activities at school where everyone gets to participate.”

McGillivray said each school in the district is taking a different approach to recognizing the virtues that Valentine’s Day celebrates, such as kindness and love. For instance, some schools are having friendship week, kindness month and buddy days, he said. There is no board rule against celebrating Valentine’s Day; in fact, students are allowed to bring Valentine’s Day cards to the school and hand them out to their classmates at the end of the school day, McGillivray said.

But parents who attended the meeting Monday night said that wasn’t the case at Prairie Mountain School a couple of weeks ago.

Lance Hughes, a parent of two Prairie Mountain students, said that he and his wife learned in early February that the school would not be celebrating Valentine’s Day, and that students should not bring cards or candy to school.

Hughes, in an interview Tuesday, said the movement to do away with holiday traditions has been gaining traction with the school district in recent years.

“The schools said it’s a financial thing and an inclusive thing, but talk to any parent at that meeting, and everyone has said they’ll pay for it,” Hughes said. “Removing holidays is not inclusive. That’s like telling a kid he can’t go outside to recess because he can’t afford a coat. If a kid can’t afford a coat, we find a way to pay for it.”

But other parents who were at the meeting Wednesday saw things differently.

Amanda Shrum, a parent of a Willamette High School student, described the crowd as disruptive, rude and frightening. “At one point, there were a couple of teen­agers who were crying, and several parents who were there with their children left as soon as people started shoving to get to the front of the room. … It was frightening,” she said.

Shrum, who was raised as a Jehovah Witness, said that she didn’t celebrate holidays as a child for religious reasons, so she felt excluded from certain situations at school.

“I was the kid who was told to just stay home or go to the library, and it was humiliating,” she said. “At that level, you can’t really explain to the other kids why you’re not participating; they just don’t understand.”

Shrum said she sympathizes with people who say that public school should be fun and include celebrations. “A lot of times, the Valentine’s cards can just bring cheer and words of encouragement, which I think is a great thing,” she said. “But we can flip that in a way that doesn’t involve holidays.”

In the Eugene district, celebrations vary from school to school and classroom to classroom, according to district spokeswoman Kerry Delf.

“Some schools — McCornack Elementary School and Holt Elementary School come to mind — they have a school-wide practice of not holding class Valentine celebrations and card/candy exchanges,” she said.

Parents and others will have a chance to voice their opinions at a special board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Shasta Middle School.  “All of those who sign a card requesting to speak will be heard,” McGilliv­ray said.


16 responses to “Progressive policies upset progressives: Oregon parents outraged by school’s holiday party guidelines

  1. More evidence of Maoist sympathies. Who told them that they must decide what everyone does? Why must everything “include” everyone? Do they have cheer leaders? Is everyone a cheer leader?

    I can’t stand control freaks. Nobody is going to tell me what to think or do.

    Liked by 4 people

    • They must “include” everyone into submission for the common good… collectivism, you know.

      Liked by 5 people

    • lophatt . . . . God Bless you for bringing up the obvious! Life just isn’t fair! It never has been, it never will be. I have a niece, a tiny blue eyed blonde . . . she made it onto the Roosevelt High School cheer leaders squad. Franky, I never was a cheer leader, I was not a petite blue eyed blonde . . . but God gave me other talents and abilities. It is a tragedy that these Marxists feel they must superficially engineer things so that each child “gets a trophy,” so to speak. These children who have been micro-managed, ARE NOT SET UP TO EMBRACE THE WORLD ONCE THEY GET OUT OF THIS SUPERFICIAL SCHOOL SETTING. Children who may not be the jocks, or the queen bees can learn that they also have potential out in the world . . . if the dog gone school would stop screwing around with them. Stop teaching them something which is totally artificial, that they will never found out in the world. Better to learn these lessons at a very young age, therefore, you will not be shocked when you find out how the real world words.

      As far as the lady who lamented over being Jehovah’s Witness, and who was not allowed to participate in parties . . . let their parent(s) write a note to have their darling excused from school on the basis of “family business.” I am sorry is she was hurt and excluded due to her religion, but really if this is what a family wants to teach their children–then let them teach the youngsters why it is that “parties are forbidden.” I personally do not, and cannot see the evil in grade school students getting to have a Valentine’s Party. If you think about it,once we clear Christmas (which has not been stolen from youngsters as a celebration at school) and then whiz by New Year’s . . . there is a pretty long, dreary patch of time until Memorial Day comes up; why not let young one’s have a party to break up the monotony of the dreary winter months?

      I would say, that the parent’s need to come out very strongly, with an invincible message to the School Board . . . “We feel ALL CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS NEED TO BE REPLACED AT OUR NEXT ELECTION. WE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE MANNER IN WHICH YOU ARE DIRECTING THINGS IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT!!!” After all these folks are not filling these positions out of the goodness of their hears . . . they are being paid out of public funds! I think at least I would say that a separate letter, along with signatures from a goodly number of parents should be presented personally to each and every School Board member, and at least some of the parent’s in attendance should carry placards expressing this same thought. It makes little sense in letting School Board members feel complacent in their positions.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. The objection seems to be that public expressions of feelings not authorized by the state are no longer allowed. After all, it’s already the iron rule governing life on every campus in America.

    You have to love the Maoist “friendship week” and “kindness month,” and the handful of leftists bullying everyone else and acting like they’re the victims, crying out in pain as they beat their neighbors over the head with a stick.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dan . . . Congratulations! That was the perfect comment . . . who gives a rip about “friendship week,” or “kindness month.” Who thought those up?

      I certainly do agree . . . “the handful of leftists bullying everyone else and acting like they[re the victims, crying out in pain as they beat their neighbors over the head with a stick.” Unfortunately, this has become common place in our society in this day and age!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Two words “Home School” My Wife and I home schooled until the 10th grade then we let him go to public school in less than two weeks he was sent home. The teachers of today are not the same as in my day. So you want them to learn and learn history the way it really happened then home school.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Brian . . . I cannot express greater accolades to you and your wife. You are the exceptional parents . . . I must agree, whenever possible keep your children safe at home, and teach them our CORRECT HISTORY, rather than the fables that are now being foisted off onto children in the public school systems.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Sounds like there are people who want our children, our money, and even ourselves to be owned by the state.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Let’s face it, these sick leftist do not want happy children. Everything we grew up with and had fun with and was part of growing up, they are against. When was the last time you saw a happy, smiling and contented liberal? They have to stop being helicopter control freaks and let kids figure out their lives. How else are they going to grow up and be prepared for the real life out there? Tell them to back off.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The Bethel School Board will be holding a special board meeting Thursday evening after it was forced to call off a meeting Monday where more than 100 angry parents stormed the district office and refused to wait their turn to speak.
    The group overflowed the small board room at the district office just after 7 p.m., reportedly yelling repeatedly at board members before board Chairwoman Dawnja Johnson adjourned the meeting about 30 minutes after it started.
    THIS is the standard operating procedure of the left. They respond to facts with name calling and resort to refusing to wait their turn to speak, refusing to let anyone else to speak and in this case yelling at board members. I would have adjourned the meeting as well. When you get a mob of Libs together, nothing is going to get accomplished.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Bet that doesn’t effect Murtin Luffer Kang Day. Or Ramadaden. Better not or they’ll burn your school down.


  8. Seems like I went to bed one night & woke up in a USA that had slipped into 1950’s- 1960’s of the old USSR: traditions, cultural “norms,” religious expression, & so on….gradually annulled in favor of a bland “everyone & everything is neutral.” And yet, if I poll my students of any age about what they or their parents know of the old USSR & what it was/what it stood for, how it “neutralized” its people, how it substituted a new, prvileged bureauacracy for the old Tsar (still in place today even tho’ the “old” system fell—keeps getting replaced by MOTS) & how it “served” their people for over 70 yrs, & how it “fell” into demise…I get a thousand yard-stare… Crickets. Nada. Nil……

    Nothing about the last century, outside of WWII (barely any WWI) is taught in schools today…& even so, WWII is not taught until HS. US History, itself, is barely taught at any grade level……sometimes not at all in favor of double periods of math/language arts, b/c THOSE 2 are tested at the end of the yr in the national “testing extravaganza” (History/Science, for instance, are not tested. So, we base our educational system upon a nationally-ranked testing run by a professional one-horse testing company who makes MILLIONS of dollars yearly by using our children for their business…..and it is so unbalanced as to illiminate 2/3 of the curriculum in order to “measure” our children and teachers…..). I have NEVER EVER understood why parents have NOT revolted against this. Teachers have NO power in this situation…we, and the children, are the “targets.” ONLY parents can put a stop to this —they can REFUSE to allow their child to be tested….and they continue on in LALA land b/c of the fact that—-these tests have no bearing or consequence upon their child’s future. So, they can “walk away” and ignore it as an inconvenience in the flow of the school year (COME ON_____ at my school…it takes dang near a MONTH to do all this testing…that means that 1/9th of the school year is NOT spent on teaching….but on “weighing” the student……a TON of lost time…..that means NOTHING in the course of the child’s educational record…, parents need to know that this test is NOT inconsequential to their child’s best interest in education….it means that, by the time a child graduates, those months of testing amount to a year and a half of educational/instruction time LOST forever.)

    Now, here is the “rub.” I have advised, for instance, some parents of special ed. kids to formally withdraw their children from this year-end testing when the child is anxious and upset over it. And, they did. However, I found with some light research that I was on shakey ground as a public school teacher b/c….IF a certain (very small…like 4%) percentage of parents in any district petition to withdraw their children from this testing……..the district loses its Federal ADA funds…….so…..the US gov’t holds your children hostage to this testing for money………

    Liked by 4 people

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