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ETFO denies claims it wants to change names of "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day"

TORONTO, Ont. – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is denying claims it wants to change the names of “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day”.

Rather, ETFO’s President says in a statement that the federation is simply trying to encourage discussion in the classroom.

Sam Hammond says many classes have students who may not have either a mother or a father to celebrate these days with, or are cared for by someone other than a mother or father, while others may have same-sex parents.

Hammond believes that promoting thinking about or the discussion of alternative names such as “love day” or “games day” for these days gives children the opportunity to acknowledge and discuss the broader meaning of the word “family” which is part of today’s reality.

However, neither he nor the rest of ETFO are after a name change for either holiday.

At Queen’s Park, Thursday, Premier Kathleen Wynne said even if ETFO wanted to change the days’ names, she would not be in favour of it, and also agrees teachers should promote discussion on the topic in the classroom.

“The fact is teachers have all sorts of resources and information to choose from, and teachers have and should have all sorts of conversations in their classrooms,” she said.

However, “that says nothing about the government is or is not going to do. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are safe.”

ETFO says the classroom discussions it encourages is in accordance with the Ministry of Education’s Equity and Inclusive Education Policy, and the Safe Schools Act.

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