Childrearing

Politically Correct School Principal Ruins St. Patrick’s Day

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Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, schools around the United States celebrated our strangest and most awesome ethnic holiday (or does that honor go to Cinco de Mayo?) today.

Every school in the country except for Wilbraham, Massachusetts’ Soule Road School, which renamed St. Patrick’s Day “O’Green Day” in a “heavy-handed attempt to instill political correctness among the impressionable 4th and 5th graders.”

Really?

The station said the school principal, Lisa Curtin, reportedly made the move to be “inclusive and diverse” and “ease any discomfort” that may go along with celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Usually the only “discomfort” that goes along with St. Patrick’s Day is the hangover the next day from the green beer you drank the night before. And it’s not like that’s an issue for the 4th and 5th graders, is it? It is Massachusetts and I’ve seen enough Casey Affleck films to realize that it may be an issue for children that young.

In any case, the school district later attempted to downplay the outrage — apparently parents thought the move was “really stupid,” to quote one. They said they were just wanting a fun additional day of cheer to St. Patrick’s Day.

But the ABC affiliate reported that St. Valentine’s Day was also renamed out of consideration for “faith issues.” So some locals are skeptical, to put it mildly. In case you’re curious, the V-day rename was to “Caring and Kindness Day.” Weird.

I’ll totally cop to being Irish (my name is Mollie, after all), but why not fully embrace that St. Patrick’s Day is being observed on a Friday instead of the following day? No need to rename. You can still play up the green theme and you could even tell children why St. Patrick is important not just to Christians but an important figure of history in general.

Being tolerant and inclusive doesn’t mean downplaying any differences or turning an ethnic holiday into something bland and meaningless. It means truly tolerating our differences and you can’t really tolerate those differences if you don’t know about them.