St. Patrick‘s Day has been replaced as the name for the school’s celebration surrounding the popular holiday. It’s been replaced with the generic “O’Green Day.”
(Billy Hallowell) -- St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday rooted in Christian values, however secular celebrations are also regularly held to commemorate the day. In fact, for a great many, the religious tones aren’t even a consideration, as alcohol, Shamrock shakes and other fun-filled elements regularly dominate the day’s observations. Somehow, though, the holiday is reportedly still too religious for one Massachusetts elementary school.
At the Soule Road School in Wilbraham, St. Patrick‘s Day has been replaced as the name for the school’s celebration surrounding the popular holiday. It’s been replaced with the generic “O’Green Day.” MassLive.com’s Patrick Johnson calls the move “a heavy-handed attempt to instill political correctness among the impressionable 4th and 5th graders.”
The school’s principal, Lisa Curtin, is apparently looking to become more inclusive. So, rather than tout St. Patrick’s Day, she has purportedly come up with a way to circumvent the faith-related nature of the holiday. The school apparently did something similar for St. Valentine’s Day, which, in some classrooms, was referred to as “Caring and Kind Day.”
A copy of the school’s calendar shows March 16 listed as ”O’Green Day / Tasting’ of the Green,” although St. Patrick’s Day does, indeed, appear on the calendar (on Saturday):
On this day, students are apparently being encouraged to wear green and they will be treated to special, green colored vegetables in the cafeteria.
“I think it’s really stupid,” says local resident Janet Carlyle. “I don‘t understand why they would change history’s old holiday names to something just to remove the essence of religion of it when it’s not really religious holidays.”
Another parent said that the changes were made to accommodate “faith issues.”
“I think in today’s world to try and make children understand caring and consideration is, I can understand from that point of view,” said Joan Harrington, a former high school teacher. “As someone who’s been around a long time, the holidays have meaning to me.”
Regardless of the motivation, these holiday name-changes reflect the growing removal of faith-based values and mentions in public schools.