There will be no cards or chalky hearts at one Minnesota elementary school this Valentine’s Day, thanks to an effort by school officials to be more ethnically sensitive to its student population.
How Valentine’s Day has any ethnic bearing is still a mystery, but that and other “dominant holidays” are getting the boot at Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune.
In a letter to families, Principal Scott Masini said, “My personal feeling is we need to find a way to honor and engage in holidays that are inclusive of our student population.”
The decision was made after consulting with his staff which deemed these as objectionable holidays as well: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“I have come to the difficult decision to discontinue the celebration of the dominant holidays until we can come to a better understanding of how the dominant view will suppress someone else’s view,” said Masini in the letter.
A statement issued by St. Paul schools said, “Because Saint Paul Public Schools is a diverse district that is filled with families from around the world we strive to respect all cultures and all students. We recognize that not every student celebrates or participates in some or all holidays. We have a board policy that discourages programs and festivities that celebrate observances unless they are required by law.”
Masini’s letter appeared on a private Facebook page and set off a host of comments from families like “Very sad. All the fun is gone,” “Totally ridiculous,” and “Tired of the PC,” reported the Tribune.
Masini, who has served as principal at Bruce Vento since the fall of 2013, acknowledged in his letter that the decision to cut some holiday celebrations “will be an unpopular decision with some of you.”
The St. Paul school district is one of the largest in the state and the most ethnically diverse. Demographic data reveals that more than 50 percent of the school population is Asian/Pacific Islander, with a large Somali population.
Apparently, the school district is more concerned with being ‘ethnically sensitive’ than in fostering American values and helping those families acclimate to their new home and its culture.
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