Malden school celebrates 'Friendship Day'
MALDEN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Some parents and students in Malden are upset over a school's decision not to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love and friendship, but at the Salemwood School in Malden, many of the parents aren’t feeling the love. Valentine’s Day has been reframed into friendship day so that everyone can feel included.
"I was extremely upset that this was the only school that wasn’t allowing cards to be exchanged," said Jodi Alpert, a parent.
Jodi Alpert is like many other parents -- fuming that their kids couldn't celebrate Valentine’s Day in school. They made cards and letters instead, but gave their own valentines after class.
There are 1,200 students at the K through eight school on Salem Street. Seventy-two percent of the students are from foreign countries, or their families are. The diversity and socio-economic challenges are why officials say they decided to call it “Friendship Day” instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Each student received a friendship letter before leaving school, but it still left parents angry over the changes, and school officials defending it.
“It takes the edge off it. In my opinion, it makes it a little more suitable. We are the second most diverse city in the state and we're trying to make people feel like we all belong here," said Dr. David Deruosi Jr., Malden School Superintendent.
"What does that have to do with celebrating Valentine’s Day? So there's a lot of nationalities that live in Malden, but don’t take away Valentine’s Day. Being politically correct has gone too far,” Alpert said.
Malden's mayor says despite the controversy, no one should overlook the fact that the Salemwood School has gone from being number three to number one.
City officials, along with the PTO will meet in March to discuss “Friendship Day.”