PAUL, Minn. – Valentine’s Day is canceled at Bruce Vento Elementary School.
As are all other “dominant holidays” – at least until principal Scott Masini can wrap his head around which days the largely minority student population would prefer to celebrate, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
“I have come to the difficult decision to discontinue he celebration of the dominant holidays until we can come to a better understanding of how the dominant views will suppress someone else’s view,” Masini wrote in a letter to staff, which was relayed to parents.
Masini’s bold move is based on his deep concern for “tolerance” and “respect,” he said.
For now, there’s no more Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Valentine’s Day at Bruce Vento Elementary, the letter said.
The announcement, of course, sparked backlash from parents online, who called the decision “very sad,” and “totally ridiculous,” according to the news site.
Masini’s letter states the decision was made in consultation with the school staff, but at least one person who posted online said the principal “is under an immense amount of pressure from many of his own staff who dispute his decision.”
The Star Tribune pointed to EAGnews reports about the St. Paul school district’s – and Masini’s – devotion to political correctness and the controversial “white privilege” training administered to teachers. The principal’s concerns about “equity” with school holidays and the district’s perspective on society seem aligned.
During one teacher training session at Bruce Veno Elementary in May, school officials projected an image of a figure wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood with the question: “When do you wear the hood?”
A source told EAGnews Masini “asked the staff to sit in silence and reflect on it for 3 to 4 minutes.”
“This picture – and the idea that it would be helpful in some way – is total unbelievable,” another source said.
The image and training session are in line with “white privilege” teacher training conducted by the St. Paul school district and numerous others through contracts with the Pacific Educational Group, which peddles the notion that a white supremacist America is hopelessly stacked against minorities.
The St. Paul district has spent nearly $1.5 million on the controversial training – which sets different expectations for white and black students – and the result has been chaos, former fourth grade teacher Aaron Benner told EAGnews.
“As a black man I can say that they are hurting black kids,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything as idiotic as PEG. Everything we do, PEG is at the forefront.
“It’s so comical. PEG says shouting out in class is a black cultural norm, and being on time is a white cultural thing. It’s so demeaning, so condescending to black kids,” Benner continued. “If a white person were making claims like this, black people would be in an uproar.”
And while Masini wrings his hands over whether school holidays celebrated for decades are now “encroaching on the educational opportunities of others and threatening the culture of tolerance and respect for all,” other educators told the Star Tribune they’ve managed to find a way to preserve traditional holidays while also remaining “inclusive.”
“Children are predisposed to have fun, and once we take those opportunities away, learning suffers,” said Thomas Scarice, superintendent of Madison Public Schools in Connecticut. “While being sensitive to backgrounds of all different folks, I think school should be a place that children want to run into every morning rather than run out of every day at 3 p.m.”