COLUMN: End Valentine’s Day in schools

Every December we hear in the news about the “War on Christmas”. How schools are getting rid of Christmas concerts and downplaying the festivities. A betrayal of the Judaeo-Christian traditions that founded Canada. Both perceptions are incorrect and inaccurate. But if there was a holiday that should dismissed outright in the schools, it should be Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, pure and simple. It was a minor religious holiday, named after a saint who performed marriages to Christians when it wasn’t allowed, but not now. Now it is commercial, corrupted by corporations making millions off parents who buy the cards, candies and stickers for their kids to give out. In schools, it has always been a popularity contest for some, and a dreaded day for awkward kids. Now class lists are sent home so that no one is left out. All in the name of inclusiveness and political correctness. Should a child not want to take part, they still end up doing so out of fear that they will be singled out for not doing it. This reinforces the herd mentality.

Which is worse, not receiving a Valentine? Or receiving one because the person giving it felt coerced into doing so, and you know it? It is political correctness gone awry in schools and it needs to end. Millions of generic, over-produced cardboard cards with corporate logos, brands, or cartoon characters. All packaged with candy or stickers. When the cards come home from school, they end up in some corner somewhere so that parents can find them months later. Why are Valentine’s Day cards and trinkets forgotten in the corner? Even the kids know that the holiday doesn’t have any real meaning.

If there is no meaning behind the holiday, and the event has been corrupted by political correctness to be inclusive. If even kids know it is forced, why celebrate it at all? There is no good reason for celebrating a commercial holiday that has no meaning except for cardboard sentiments and cheap candy. For many it is not fun, it is going through motions. With all the issues within the public education system, doing away with one empty holiday would be a good thing. Spend less time on Valentine’s Day parties and more time on learning in class.

Yes, the idea of getting rid of Valentine’s Day may not be popular with some. Kids might balk at not “celebrating” it at first, but ask these questions. Are they upset because they don’t get candy? Or is it that they have to do work in class instead?

Valentine’s Day is not a holiday of love in the schools. It is a corporate holiday designed to lighten the wallets of parents and fatten dentist bills. The event forces kids to be inclusive, even when they do not want to be. It reinforces the herd mentality and conformity, while preaching a false sense of inclusiveness.

Many holidays are great to celebrate, secular and religious alike, both in and out of schools. Valentine’s Day is the one “holiday” that should be scrubbed from the school calendar, once and for all.