SYDNEY, Australia – An elementary school principal in Sydney is earning scorn from parents for banning the word “Easter” from the school’s Easter Hat Parade, alleging the move is designed promote “inclusion.”
Several parents are objecting to the unilateral decision by Bondi Public School head Michael Jones to remove “Easter” from the school’s Easter Hat Parade yesterday, though none want to be identified for fear of retaliation, The Daily Telegraph reports.
“All of the hats have eggs on them. I wanted to speak out because this is ridiculous – but I can’t make a scene,” one parent told the Daily Mail.
“I know what happened to the previous people who came out and spoke against it last time,” another said.
Jones first floated the idea of killing Easter in 2011, but parental outrage forced him to abandon the idea. This time around, he simply implemented the change with no discussion, according to the news site.
In the first incident, Jones wrote in the school newsletter that “as we are an inclusive community which celebrates our diverse range of cultures and beliefs, I have not called it an Easter Hat parade.”
“Many religious celebrations occur at this time of year but we want to include all students in any celebration at school Teachers will talk to students about the different celebrations and the emphasis will be on tolerance and understanding.”
Parents loudly opposed Jones’ no Easter decree in 2011, and forced him to back off.
“Up until last month’s newsletter these events were referred to as ‘Easter’ events,” one parent said at the time. “Without warning the recent newsletter deleted all reference and children came home with news that their hats and raffle tickets were not to be called ‘Easter’ anymore.”
Australian education officials told the Daily Mail they don’t meddle in local education decisions, and encouraged angry parents to confront Jones directly.
“Holding and naming such events is a local management decision made at the school level,” a spokesman said. “Bondi Public School strongly encourages parents to raise any concerns directly with the principal or a member of staff.
“The school’s website does not have a comments section. The school is not an administrator of the Facebook page for parents.”
The Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations condemned to ‘no Easter’ decree.
“The Department of Education has a very clear direction, a very strong policy that Christian activities such as celebrating Easter and Christmas go ahead,” the group said in a statement. “These are long-held traditions. Categorically the parade should go ahead as an Easter function.”
School officials in numerous U.S. states last year shifted from Easter egg hunts to “spring egg hunts,” in an apparent bid to be unnecessarily politically correct. Schools in New York, Washington, New Jersey, California, and other states made the transition, EAGnews reported.
Perhaps the worst example of political correctness ruining Easter came in 2011, when a Seattle high school student described her time volunteering during Easter festivities at a local elementary school.
“At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that,” the student, Jessica, told KIRO.
“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay,” Jessica said. “She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat ‘spring spheres.’ I couldn’t call them Easter eggs.”
“When I took them out of the bag, the teacher said, ‘Oh look, spring spheres’ and all the kids were like ‘Wow, Easter eggs.’ So they knew,” she told the radio station.