A Melbourne primary school will host an Appreciation Stall in place of traditional Mother’s Day celebrations in the name of inclusivity and diversity.
In an announcement made in Brunswick East Primary School’s newsletter, principal Janet Di Pilla revealed the unique event would be the first of two for the school.
“We will be holding two of these days each year; one to coincide with the ‘traditional’ Mother’s Day and the other to coincide with the ‘traditional’ Father’s Day,” Ms Pilla wrote.
She said the decision was made after lengthy deliberation over what would be the best way to celebrate carers of all kinds, not just mothers alone.
“There has been a lot of discussion about the reason we celebrate these days and the naming of the celebration.
“I believe that days like this are important because we do need to stop and show gratitude for those around us.”
The newsletter stated it was important to “help students to think of others and not just themselves” while also making the occasion as “inclusive as possible”.
“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,” Ms Pilla said.
She apologised on behalf of the school for offending “some members of our community” in previous years.
“I hope that this acknowledgement goes some way to address any hurt which has occurred in the past.”
“Please support this wonderful community and fundraising event. The organisers need volunteers for the baking and manning the stall.”
A poster for the event asked that parents didn’t forget to send money to school for their child to spend at the stall.
There was to be “awesome handmade and home-baked gifts for Mum, Grandma and any special person in your life”, according to the poster.
The announcement received mixed responses from the community at large, some expressing outrage at the change of name in emotionally charged posts to Facebook.
“The more I hear about what they are allowing to happen to Australia, the angrier I get. Shame on Brunswick East Primary School,” someone wrote to the social media site.
“They have now decided to drop the Mother’s Day and call it Appreciation day. That Principal needs sacking for allowing this.”
Despite some negative backlash, the school has stood by its decision to go ahead with the newly named celebration.
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