An Australian school renamed Mother’s Day, calling it “Acknowledgment Day” as the principal stated, “We no longer subscribe to a binary world.”
As The Daily Mail writes of Brunswick East Primary School in Melbourne, “In previous years, the school has hosted a fundraising stall where children could buy Mother’s Day merchandise such as mugs, trinkets, candles and soaps.” But now the stall will be called the “appreciation stall” instead, where children can buy gifts for anyone.
Principal Janet Di Pilla wrote in the school newsletter:
You will see further in this newsletter a fantastic poster for our first “Acknowledgment Day.” We will be holding 2 of these days each year; one to coincide with the “traditional” Mother’s Day and the other to coincide with the “traditional” Father’s Day. There has been a lot of discussion about the reason we celebrate these days and the naming of the celebration. I believe that days like this are important because we do need to stop and show gratitude for those around us. However, it is also very important that we make these occasions as inclusive as possible.
I sincerely hope that this change in name will show that we as a community recognize that our families are not made up of any particular combination of people and that we no longer subscribe to a binary world. I am sorry that in the past we have offended some members of our community and I hope that this acknowledgment goes some way to address any hurt which has occurred in the past.
The Australian Liberty Alliance ripped the alteration, writing, “We believe the natural family is the core building block of human society and must be protected.”
A preschool in Sydney, Australia is also on the anti-Mother’s Day bandwagon; as 10Daily reported on April 30:
The Learn and Laugh early childhood centre in Drummoyne emailed parents on Tuesday to let them know that Mother’s and Father’s Day activities would no longer be going ahead. “We have spent a lot of time discussing and reflection on this and believe we want to be a more inclusive centre,” an email from acting director April Howlin reads. “We want to include all families here at Learn and Laugh regardless of their family dynamics. “Instead, we have decided to do family and friends day at different times throughout the year. That way anyone close to the children can come and take part.”
Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her mother, Ann, who had nursed soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, had died in 1905. The idea of making the day a national holiday was rejected by Congress In 1908, but by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday. Jarvis later resented the commercialization of the holiday and wound up organizing boycotts of Mother’s Day. She felt people should simply write to their mothers instead of purchasing ready-made cards.