One Toronto school came under fire this week after some parents criticized an “exclusionary” message posted outside the school regarding Mother’s Day.
Concerns about the sign were first raised by a local resident in a community parenting Facebook group, who questioned the greeting on the message board outside of Kew Beach Junior Public School.
The message, which has since been replaced after a wave of complaints and concerns, reads, “Life does not come with a manual. It comes with a mom.”
Some parents found an issue with the message and called on the school to replace the sign with a more inclusive greeting that includes other non-traditional families in the community.
Despite the comments saying “real mom’s give birth”, there are many children without moms, or who have step moms, foster moms, or people who take care of them that aren’t their birth moms. Some kids who lost their moms.
The comments are a bigger problem.
— •°•*𝓜𝓲𝓼𝓼𝓢𝓪𝓻𝓲𝓴𝓪 *•°• ❌ (@EarlGreyTea_pls) May 9, 2023
People noted that children with complicated relationships with their moms, two dads, or a deceased mother might feel left out or not included in the message posted outside the school.
Not just exclusionary. There are children out there who tragically lost a mother. So the message could be triggering for them, especially if the loss is recent.
— Forget 2050, Net F****d by 2022! (@a_darkcorner) May 9, 2023
However, some expressed that the sign didn’t seem ill-intentioned or offend them personally.
Nothing to call out here lol – it’s a nice sign in advance of mothers day.
— Herman Dhillon (@HermanDhillon2) May 10, 2023
Others demanded to know where the idea behind the sign originated, and if it could be altered to make a more all-encompassing message to promote better inclusivity in the neighbourhood.
Glad they took down the sign, but I’m disappointed in the social media response from some people in my community. People seem to be taking this as an attack on motherhood and mother’s day. But that is not what the issue is with this sign!https://t.co/tNeWBqMdlX
— Dr. Sarah Dermody (@SarahSDermody) May 9, 2023
“Grade 6 students at Kew Beach came up with the first quote collectively as they prepare for Mother’s Day this weekend, to share how much they care for and depend on their moms,” TDSB spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz told CP24 in a statement.
“Upon feedback, the school recognized that this quote does not reflect the inclusivity of our community, and took immediate steps to address the issue. The sign has now been updated with a new message of an encouraging acronym for May.”
The new sign outside the school reads: “M: Make This Month Count, A: Accomplish Your Goals, Y: You Can Do This.”