Local Schools Have No Plans to Ditch Valentine’s Day Card Giving
ST. CLOUD – Last week we told you about students at a St. Paul elementary school who won’t be exchanging valentines or candy this year.
Bruce Vento Elementary opted out of celebrating holidays as they strive to be more culturally inclusive. Principal Scott Masini said celebrating some holidays and not others is not inclusive of all students.
Locally, St. Cloud area schools still allow students to exchange cards on Valentine’s Day. However, District 742 director of communications, Tami DeLand, says the card-giving is not focused on the holiday in an effort to include students of all cultures.
“The policy that we’ve had in place talks about rather than celebrating a holiday or anything around a certain religion, it’s turned into a learning activity. So for Valentine’s Day, the children will be talking about friendship and that becomes the lesson.”
Sauk Rapids-Rice superintendent Dan Bittman says they have no plans to get rid of card giving on Valentine’s Day and that they work to balance tradition with new cultures.
“Certainly every school district does things a little differently, but in Sauk Rapids-Rice we honor traditions and people from all different kinds of traditions. We work to make sure kids have an opportunity to learn about new traditions and cultures, without being forced to do so.”
Kip Lynk is the principal of Oak Ridge Elementary in Sartell. He says most students still hand out valentines, so long as they bring enough for everyone.
“We do emphasize that if a kid is going to be bringing in something for classmates, that they bring it in for all of their classmates, so that nobody is left out.”
Lynk says the Sartell-St. Stephen district also encourages students to bring in healthier choices instead of candy for holidays. Candy isn’t banned, but items like pencils and trinkets are becoming more common.
Bruce Vento Elementary in St. Paul made headlines last week when they opted to stop celebrating Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving to be more culturally sensitive. The school has a predominantly nonwhite student population.
Other schools have made similar moves. Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Wayzata public schools have also shifted from holiday parties to seasonal celebrations.
-This story was written with information from the Associated Press-