In 2011, my sons’ elementary school — at the direction of a team lead by the principal — put a ban on all Valentine’s Day related activities. It was the only school in the area that did not celebrate. No cards, no food, no parties — pretty much no love on February 14, 2011.
This policy – and the seemingly ridiculous reason for it — resulted in quite the parental backlash. Not to mention the facebook firestorm, with one parent posting this update on their status:
The school my son goes to decided not to celebrate Valentines this year, here is the main reason: “team decided last year to abandon Valentine’s Day celebrations due to “inappropriate interactions between boys and girls in the classroom,” Romance between students has no place in the elementary school classroom, and the obsession of boy-girl relationships on Valentine’s Day was inappropriate for the school setting.
And then came the comment string. I’ve shared a few of my favorites here:
come on, one day you have second graders exchanging valentines – The next day? Fornication in the hallways. It only makes sense.
I am pretty annoyed by all of this too! When I hear what other elementary schools in the county are allowed to celebrate, it really upsets me! LAZINESS on the administrations part!
And our principal is an IDIOT!!!!
And then some crazy bitch added this comment:
That’s right. Teach ’em early and often that being kind/nice to people is totally frowned upon. Perhaps Valentine’s Day could have been used as a teaching moment – make valentines for a local senior home? Make valentines for your parents? Be nice to a sibling? A basic anatomy lesson about the heart? I’m tempted to rent a helicopter and have it drop Twizzlers over WES so the kids have something to be excited about.
I never did commission that helicopter with a Twizzler payload. Regret #4,592 of my life.
Fastforward to the pre-Valentine’s Day weeks of 2012. Our boys came home with the list of names for all the kids in their respective classes for Valentine cards. I figured that the silly policy had been reviewed by the same brilliant team as last year, who this time came to the miraculous conclusion that the 2011 Valentine’s Day celebration massacre was a total cluster@#$* — at its best.
I was not surprised to see coverage of the incident in our local paper, based on an Associated Press newsfeed.
What I did not expect on my way into work was to see this in the Washington Post Express:
Or to see this on the Washington Post website.
Or that CBS would be interested in our little podunk elementary school (although, I hear CSI: Walkersville Elementary might be in the works!)
Or that Fox News would stop
barking out commentary providing fair and balanced news long enough to cover the local yokels and their Valentine hoopla.
At the end of the day, I think we should all remember this important piece of information: It’s the
principal principle of the thing.