While the majority of Australians will be taking their mothers, step-mums and grandmas out to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, one Melbourne primary school has been branded a “disgrace” after revealing it has renamed the day in a bid to be more inclusive to diverse families.
Brunswick East Primary School will set up a fundraising stall to mark the special occasion, however the school principal announced that rather than being a traditional Mother’s Day stall this year, the school would instead be celebrating its first “Acknowledgment Day”.
“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,” Principal Janet Di Pilla said.
Di Pilla also apologised to families who may have been offended or upset by the stalls in the past, adding: “I am sorry that in the past we have offended some members of our community and I hope that this acknowledgement goes some way to address any hurt which has occurred in the past.”
Di Pilla also confirmed that the same would happen on Father’s Day from now on, which will fall on September 1 this year, in a bid to make the events as “inclusive as possible”.
She also added that there was a lot of discussion about what to rename the days, with the principal speaking to the parents of around half of the students.
“We have decided to call the traditional ‘Mother’s and Father’s Day Stalls’ Acknowledgement Stalls for Mother’s/Father’s, Parents and Carers,” she added. “We will be holding 2 of these days each year.
“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.”
One parent at the school, who has not been named, told the Herald Sun that she was happy with the decision.
She told the news outlet: “Not many families look like those shown in a Myer or David Jones’ catalogue. Our school, and many others, is made up lots of different families. 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.”
However other’s took to Twitter to slam the school’s decision, with one person writing on social media: “What a disgrace, shame on you.”
While another wrote on Facebook: “If children in motherless families are feeling ‘left out’ then that problem has started in the home, and should have been dealt with from the home ! There is no father to speak of on ‘Fathers Day’ in my household but I have RAISED my children celebrating a ‘Big Brothers’ day to show appreciation to their Older Brothers, Parenting is not as hard as what snowflakes are making it out to be it’s just time consuming which clearly these offended parents lack!”