A Canadian father was alarmed when his first grader brought home a school notice that included the Toronto District School Board 2011-12 daily planner’s recommendations for “days of significance.”
Such days that the six-year-old’s family should remember, according to the calendar, included Nov. 19’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, Dec. 1’s World AIDS Day, Dec. 17’s International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Feb. 7’s International Day of Zero-Tolerance on Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation and Feb. 12’s International Sexual and Reproductive Health Day.
“It’s just bizarre,” said the outraged dad, who took the paper out of his son’s folder before the boy saw it. “He’s six. I want him to enjoy being six.”
“What are those things doing in a young child’s school planner?” asks Joe Warmington, writing for the Toronto Sun newspaper. “This boy’s parents may have to tackle these issues far earlier than they planned.”
“The school only goes to the fifth grade, so they are not going to be able to say it was in there for the older kids either,” said the dad, who Warmington did not identify. “I just don’t get it because the kids in first grade can read.”
Claiming they knew nothing about it, the school board is conducting an investigation. Spokesman Shari Schwartz-Maltz told the Sun that claims about the planner are “not consistent” with school policy. She said the board is contacting the school’s recently retired principal to determine what happened.
“Could it be narrowed down to having been accidentally placed in the planners of one grade school?” asked Warmington. “This dad said he has talked to at least one other parent who has a planner with the same information.”
Oddly enough, despite school officials’ shocked response, the “Days of Significance calendar” is on the school board’s website.