(KMTR) – The administration at a local elementary school has decided to cancel all Valentine's Day celebrations at the school and some parents and students are upset.
McCornack Elementary in Eugene sent out a memo Friday asking parents to “refrain from sending holiday cards and items of any kind for distribution at school”. The memo mentions the school doesn't want unhealthy food in the classroom, but that's district policy. It's the part about Valentine's Day cards that has people upset.
One fifth grader even wrote a letter to the Register Guard saying the school's decision makes her very sad. She writes, “Lots of bad things have been happening in schools that are making people sad and I believe celebrating the holiday could us all back together.”
Danielle Benson is a parent of a fifth grade boy at McCornack. She’s had two other children attend and graduate from the school and has always supported McCornack. When she read the memo on Friday she was immediately upset and so was her son.
"Just writing compliments and notes to your fellow classmates, I think this is the perfect day to do it and it's just really sad kids aren't going to get to experience that now,” says Benson. “They don't need to spend a lot of time. Take the last ten, fifteen minutes of the school day - maybe a half hour - but they don't need that long and let kids pass out valentines.”
Benson says a group of students actually sent a petition around recess Monday and got a lot of kids to sign it. After recess they held a small meeting with the principal hoping to change her mind, but they did not.
Officials at 4J say the district leaves it up to each school to decide how or if they want to celebrate birthdays and holidays. McCornack's principal says they didn't intend to be anti-Valentine's Day when they sent out the memo. The school just wants to respect every child's culture and also wants to make sure their limited class time is used for education and learning.