School Cancels Mother’s Day -- & It's About Time

kid writing mothers day card

I'm 30 years old and, believe it or not, my mom still has a box of gifts I made her for Mother's Day when I was a kid. It's filled to the brim with macaroni necklaces, painted handprint butterflies, and popsicle-stick picture frames featuring photos of me in various stages of toothlessness -- all things I made at school to commemorate the holiday. Now that I'm a parent, I look forward to receiving the same little trinkets and keepsakes. But there's a chance school-made Mother's Day gifts could become a thing of the past. Teachers at one elementary school just canceled their Mother's Day activities because they might make kids feel left out.


Teachers at Albert McMahon Elementary school in British Colombia, Canada, made the difficult decision to cancel Mother's Day and Father's Day celebrations after they held a meeting to discuss their "core values." The teachers sent home a letter explaining that "in an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families," they won't be making gifts with students and they encourage families to celebrate on their own at home.

More from CafeMom: 15 Brutally Honest Mother's Day Cards That Should Exist IRL

Roy Glebe, a parent at the school, received a copy of the letter and shared it on Facebook, where it's sparked a huge debate.

Roy Glebe/Facebook

Some people are livid that their child's school is messing with their treasured traditions.

Denise Tinline/Facebook

Drea Owen/Facebook

More from CafeMom: Mother's Day is Different After You're Divorced

But others spoke out in support of the change and applauded the school for their attempts to be more inclusive.

Amanda Roste/Facebook

Jennifer Howe/Facebook

As a parent, I can understand the disappointment some people are feeling. After all, those handmade Mother's Day gifts are always the highlight of the day, and they end up becoming keepsakes that I will look back on with fondness for years to come. But I can also understand where these teachers are coming from in trying to make sure every child feels represented.

More from CafeMom: 18 Quotes About Motherhood That Straight Up Tell It Like It Is

I grew up with a single mom, and I loved making Mother's Day gifts at school to celebrate her on her special day. But, when Father's Day rolled around, I didn't have anyone to celebrate. When school activities turned to reading books about dads and crafting handmade cards shaped like neckties, I felt left out and ashamed that my family didn't look like everyone else's.

In 2017, families come in all shapes and sizes. Some people have two moms or two dads. Others live with a grandparent or an aunt. Some kids have lost their mom or dad, and others have single parents or step-parents. There is no single, correct definition of the word "family," and it makes sense for schools to adapt to reflect the students they serve. In this case, it seems it was easier to just allow families to celebrate (or not celebrate) on their own terms, and there's nothing wrong with that. As much as I love getting sweet gifts from my daughter, I don't think any holiday tradition outweighs the need to make each and every child feel included.

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