A fierce debate has raged after a number of New South Wales schools renamed ‘Grandparents Day‘ to ‘Grandfriends Day’ in an effort to be more inclusive.
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, the NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, addressed the matter and explained the reasoning behind the name change, referring to one school in particular that embraced the change, in an effort to placate those who opposed it.
“Spring Farm Public School used this term to promote their event as they had invited residents from a local aged care facility who are pen pals with the students,” Mitchell said.
“This was an opportunity for young students who have sadly lost their grandparents to feel included in the day’s celebrations.”
Despite those who initiated the name change having the best of intentions, the move has still drawn the ire of the online community and high-profile figures.
Australian politician and media commentator, Mark Latham, took to Facebook to slam the name change, claiming that “even Grandparents are victims of cancel culture”.
“This used to be Grandparents Day. What exactly is a ‘Grandfriend’? A term nobody has heard of,” he wrote.
“Why have grandparents been rubbed out in the new, silly woke world of Spring Farm Public School near Camden in Sydney?
“Undoubtedly it’s the school worried about ‘offending someone’, unspecified and totally unwarranted.
“Parents and grandparents at the school have complained and I don’t blame them. It’s an insult to grandparents and the wonderful love and support they provide.”
There were many who shared similar views to Latham, taking to Twitter to have their concerns heard over what many considered “woke nonsense” that made “no sense”.
Whoever came up with the idea to rename grandparents day to grands friends they need their head read. In my opinion I think that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
— Luke Amott???? #MelbourneDemons (@luke_amott) November 2, 2022
More “woke” nonsense in Australia.
“Grandparents Day” a fixture in Aussie schools – apparently to be changed to “Grandfriends Day”
Huh. My auto spell check doesn’t recognise that word.
— Melinda Richards ???????????????? (@goodfoodgal) November 2, 2022
That is a little over the top. Makes no sense, or I am missing something?
— Shane Bennett (@66Benno) November 2, 2022
As. A grandmother who minded two grandsons from the time they were born it’s the greatest insult to me personally, so I imagine other grandparents feel the same. This crap has to end. They keep screwing with kids emotions.
— Rob Wade (@robwade91225) November 2, 2022
For all those who vehemently opposed changing the name, there were just as many who supported the move with many citing the fact that some children no longer have living grandparents around, concluding that the move was a “sensible and logical” one.
You have no idea about families these days. Some don’t have living grandparents just like they may not have a father or mother. This allows those kids to participate still. Fathers day celebrations recently were very difficult for my grandson whose father died when he was a baby.
— KWest (@kwest51) November 3, 2022
It is sensible and logical.
You may not realise it but so many kids do not have. A living grandparent or one who lives close enough to attend.
Making it grand friends day opens this wonderful experience up to all kids.
— BPY (@BrettYoud) November 3, 2022
No, it is a good idea. Relatives of ours went to grand friends day for the first time because they felt welcomed . They have been surrogate grandparents to a neighbour’s children for years
— Corinne Rockliff (@crock1954) November 3, 2022
I saw kids shaking with grief Grandparents day because Grandparents had died in previous years.Soon after the school changed to Grand friends day.The same kids came the next year with Grandparents friends.Big smile on their faces ran around introducing them to all.Not an issue
— Allan (@AG82339555) November 3, 2022
Grandparents Day is celebrated on the last Sunday and according to the NSW Government is about “celebrating the role of grandparents and older people in our lives.”
“Grandparents, grand-friends, kin, and those who take on the role of a grandparent in their family or community are recognised for their contributions,” the NSW Government explained.