UPDATE Feb 2 : The super has had enough feedback. The Principal has been told to reverse his decision.
A superintendent for School District 6 says a flood of calls and emails from across the country convinced the board to reinstate the anthem. The issue made it to the House of Commons last week when New Brunswick MP Mike Allen said the anthem’s banning amounted to “political correctness run wild.”
UPDATE: The story we reported on about the national anthem being down-played got some more exposure in the main stream media. CTV reports that :
Sometimes we have students whose parents, because of their beliefs, don’t want their children to participate,” Watson told CTV Atlantic.
But some in the community said that the decision may have been made because of Millett’s personal beliefs. Millett ran for the Green Party in the last federal election and his website describes him as “actively involved in the peace movement.”
Federal Veteran Affairs Minister Greg Thompson criticized the decision, calling it the wrong one to make.
“First and foremost, this gentleman is a principal and he has an obligation not only to his students, but to the community . . , I suggest he admit his mistake and restore the tradition,” Thompson said.
Wonder what Elizabeth May would make of this.
And the story even made it west to the Globe and Mail!
The clot of angry e-mails plugging Zoe Watson’s inbox is growing by the hour.
They arrive by the hundreds from every corner of the country, all with a singular message: Bring back the anthem.
“I can’t keep up with them,” said Ms. Watson, school superintendent of the New Brunswick district that includes Belleisle Elementary in Springfield, where a decision to cancel daily renditions of O Canada has touched off a patriotic uproar
Perhaps we played a small role in that by posting the e-mail addresses. 🙂
Rex Murphy hits the nail on the head:
This is the rule now. In our brave new world of tumid tolerance and shrunken common sense, very frequently if even one person “objects” to some long-respected tradition, innocuous greeting or symbol of unexceptional commonality, then in the name of “tolerance” that tradition, greeting or instance of our common interest will be banned.
Apparently our national anthem is so objectionable to a couple of parents that a Maritime school has stopped playing it at the start of the school day and it is now played only occasionally. Here is another example of the sensitivities of a few setting policy for the majority.
Singing the national anthem every day is important to the Boyd family, who lost a loved one, Pte. David Greenslade of Saint John, in Afghanistan. Susan Boyd and her daughter, Kara, do not agree with Belleisle Elementary School getting rid of the singing of ‘O Canada’ every morning.
And it devastates her that her youngest daughter doesn’t start each morning at Belleisle Elementary School paying tribute to her home and native land. The school eliminated the morning ritual in September 2007 after complaints by two families who took issue with the anthem. But Boyd is speaking up to defend what is a generally accepted tradition in schools across the country…
Erik Millett is principal of the small school of 214 students in Springfield, west of Sussex, and has heard from only a few people who oppose the decision to drop the anthem. …
Perhaps he should hear from a few more?
Contact info for Belleisle Elementary:
Vice Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a school administrator, he attempts to juggle the interests of a diverse population, Millett said.
“Whether it’s for religious or family value reasons, this is a public education system, it’s secular and we’re serving the public,” he said. “Is it right or is it fair for children who are not allowed to sing the anthem to be forced to? [emph. ours]
Ht – ErwinGerrits