It’s time we cancel the cancel culture

sign that says cancelled

A Kitchener school has cancelled Valentine’s Day.

Jean Steckle Public School in Kitchener, Ontario sent a memo home to parents saying there will be no Valentine’s Day celebration in the school and asking parents not to send treats or Valentines in.

The notice read, “While we acknowledge the celebration of Valentine’s Day, and are mindful of the popularity of that day, it is not celebrated by all students/families in our community. It is essential that all students feel welcomed and reflected at school, and that our celebrations do not negatively impact our families and students.”

The school administrators went on to find just about every flimsy excuse in the books to justify their decision: that it could put a financial strain on families to purchase cards or sweets (fair enough), and the food kids eat on Valentine’s Day doesn’t fit in with the healthy eating guidelines.

Really? Is nothing sacred?

Let’s have a reality check here. Valentine’s Day in schools is little kids writing out cards saying “I love you” and “Friends forever” and mowing down chocolate cupcakes with red and white icing.

I’ve been taking note of the nonsense and wake of destruction of cancel culture for a few years now. In, “One Graceless Tweet Doesn’t Warrant Cancellation”, The New York Times lashed out at cancel culture when Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University was fired after posting a tweet complimenting a beautiful woman, calling her “a freak of nature”. A poor choice of words? No question. I think the word graceless perfectly captures it, but it’s rather scary to think any one of us could lose our jobs over a poor turn of phrase.

British comedian Rowan Atkinson spoke out last year against the cancel culture saying it’s almost impossible for comedians now to go on stage and it’s comedy’s job to offend.

Earlier this week, the City of Oshawa voted on whether it should ban toboganning in all but two of its municipal parks citing safety concerns and insurance costs. They voted down the ban, thank goodness, a temporary win in the battle against cancel culture so kids for the time being can still get out in winter and have some fun.

Cancel culture has to stop. If we’re not careful, we will end up cancelling everything that is good and gives us joy in this world.


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