St. Paul School Kisses Holidays Good-bye


Are we still in America?

No more Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Valentine’s Day.   No, it’s not a hoax… this is REAL.

Star Tribune | By Paul Walsh:   Celebrations of Valentine’s Day and the other “dominant holidays” are ending at one St. Paul elementary school, according to a letter from the principal addressed to families.

Principal Scott Masini of Bruce Vento Elementary School, whose student body is overwhelmingly nonwhite, explained in the letter that “my personal feeling is we need to find a way to honor and engage in holidays that are inclusive of our student population.”

With Valentine’s Day a little more than two weeks away, Masini noted, “I have come to the difficult decision to discontinue the celebration of the dominant holidays until we can come to a better understanding of how the dominant view will suppress someone else’s view.”

Masini said there will be no cards or treats brought to school to mark Valentine’s Day.

The letter listed the holidays that the East Side school will no longer celebrate as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Masini said the decision was made in consultation with his staff.

“One of the concerns that I have,” Masini wrote, “ … is whether or not this practice is encroaching on the educational opportunities of others and threatening the culture of tolerance and respect for all.”

“Because Saint Paul Public Schools is a diverse district that is filled with families from around the world we strive to respect all cultures and all students. We recognize that not every student celebrates or participates in some or all holidays. We have a board policy that discourages programs and festivities that celebrate observances unless they are required by law,” a statement from St. Paul schools later Thursday said.

The district is one of the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse. As of October, its student body was 31.5 percent Asian-American, 30.3 percent black, 22.5 percent white, 13.9 percent Hispanic and 1.82 percent American Indian, according to the district’s demographics Web page. Among its 37,000 or so students, more than 100 languages and dialects are spoken, the Web page added.

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