By Carolyn Tisdale
Photo credits: The Daily Mail
An Australian primary school in the Victorian city of Melbourne has officially banned and renamed a highly popular holiday celebrated in the Western world.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper, Melbourne’s Moonee Ponds West Primary School (pictured) will not be holding traditional Mother’s Day celebrations at school this year. This policy will remain in effect indefinitely. Jeff Lyons, Moonee Ponds West’s principal wrote a letter, which was sent home via students to their parents on May 5th.
In his letter, Lyons described that his school will engage in celebrations while calling them a different name that embraces a more “inclusive” title, which reflects the paternal sacrifices made all types of caregivers with different genders and circumstances.
“This year we will not be holding a Mother’s Day stall at Moonee Ponds West,” Lyons wrote in his letter.
“I believe celebrating International Day of Families is a more inclusive way of celebrating the richness, diversity, and complexity of living and loving as a family in the modern world–The day highlights the importance of all caregivers… be it parents, grandparents or siblings,” Lyons continued
In his letter to parents, Lyons also went further to elaborate on his theory about family and how the traditional caregiver’s role in the family has evolved. “[International Caregiver’s Day] focuses on good practices for work-family balance to assist parents in their educational and caregiving roles,” Lyons also wrote.
As expected, the principal’s decision sparked public outrage. ‘What a disgrace! The education department should drag the Moonee Ponds West principal in and ask ‘who gives you the right to dismiss Mother’s Day?'” tweeted Shane McInnes earlier this week.
When the Daily Mail’s Australian wing reached out to Moonee Ponds West’s school spokesperson for comment, the newspaper’s correspondent was directed to the Department of Education.