Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen supports School District 91’s policy change to no longer acknowledge Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
An email sent by W.L McLeod Elementary School Principal Libby Hart advised they will reference terms, which include all types of family situations.
He adds while not everybody is on board with the more inclusive approach, it’s good to deal with uncomfortable situations.
“I am happy to see our community a little uncomfortable sometimes. We do things that sometimes quite unknowingly can cause hurt and nobody wants to do that. To me, I embrace the uncomfortableness.”
“I’d really like to commend those people in leadership in the school district that has reached out and said hey we are going to do things a little bit differently in the future.”
Thiessen embraces any necessary changes that will aid in students feeling welcomed at school.
However, the move came under swift criticism from local residents and former Conservative Party of BC Leader Dan Brooks who believes the policy change is tearing down the traditional family and implies that won’t be honoured anymore and that the decision was being hidden from Vanderhoof parents within SD 91.
But, the WL McLeod Parent Advisory rejected those claims stating a newsletter was issued dating back to April 27th.
Thiessen understands the angst some people may have who are on the other side of the fence.
“I hear them. I am one of the lucky ones that had a Mom and Dad. My wife and I will be celebrating 50 years of marriage this next year, we are fortunate and lucky but that is not the world we live in today.”
“We see how some celebrations may cause anxiety and can cause hurt. Certainly, as a community in Vanderhoof we appreciate leaders in our schools that when they see students that have gone through tough times and the hurt and have anxiety in their lives, they do all that they can to help address those hurts.”