An elementary school in Brunswick, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, has renamed Mother’s Day so as not to upset children who don’t have a mother.
Citing the Herald Sun, Charlie Moore reports for the Daily Mail, May 8, 2019, that in previous years, Brunswick East Primary School had hosted a fundraising stall where children could buy Mother’s Day merchandise such as mugs, trinkets, candles and soaps.
But this year, the school renamed the fundraising stall to the Appreciation stall because some families were offended by the stall being called the Mother’s Day stall. One parent told the Herald Sun: “Some kids, for whatever reason, may not have a mother in their lives, so I don’t mind if they broaden the stall so those kids feel included.”
In the Appreciation stall, kids can buy gifts for any special person in their life, not just their moms.
Principal Janet Di Pilla said she had consulted with staff, parents and students before installing the change. She explained in a newsletter to parents:
I am sorry that in the past we have offended some members of our community and I hope that this acknowledgment goes some way to address any hurt which has occurred in the past.
I sincerely hope that this change in name will show that we as a community recognise that our families are not made up of any particular combination of people and that we no longer subscribe to a binary world.
According to the Daily Mail, “Right-wing” political party Australian Liberty Alliance “slammed” the school for the change. It wrote online: “We believe the natural family is the core building block of human society and must be protected.”
Yahoo News Australia reports that the school will also scrub Father’s Day. Principal Di Pilla said in the newsletter: “We will be holding 2 of these [Appreciation] days each year; one to coincide with the ‘traditional’ Mother’s Day and the other to coincide with the ‘traditional’ Father’s Day.”
Di Pilla’s announcement received mixed responses from the community at large, some expressing outrage at the change of name in emotionally charged posts to Facebook. As an example, one Facebook poster wrote: “The more I hear about what they are allowing to happen to Australia, the angrier I get. Shame on Brunswick East Primary School. They have now decided to drop the Mother’s Day and call it Appreciation day. That Principal needs sacking for allowing this.”
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