London, June 23 : Fear of embarrassing children of single mothers or lesbians has prompted schools in Scotland to ban Father's Day cards.
While the move was adopted by schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Clackmannshire, "in the interests of sensitivity" over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households, there are many who are condemning this policy.
The policy came into light only after a large number of fathers did not get their traditional cards and handmade gifts on Father's Day.
The policy has received much flak from family rights campaigners, who claim that the move was "absurd" as it is an attempt to marginalising fathers. However, local authorities said that it is important for the teachers to react to "the changing pattern of family life".
In April, an Office for National Statistics report revealed that in today's date one in four British kids lives with a lone parent, which was twice than that was 20 years ago.
According to Tina Woolnough, 45, whose son Felix attends Edinburgh's Blackhall primary school, many teachers did not allow children to make Father's Day cards this year.
"This is something I know they do on a class-by-class basis at my son Felix's school. Some classes send Father's Day cards and some do not. The teachers are aware of the family circumstances of the children in each class and if a child hasn't got a father living at home, the teacher will avoid getting the children to make a card." The Telegraph quoted Woolnough, as saying.
While the making of Mother's Day cards and crafts are still being practised in schools, this new policy of banning Father's Day cards follows a series of other politically correct measures introduced in primary schools, including the removal of Christian references from festive greetings cards.
Matt O'Connor, founder of campaign group Fathers For Justice, said: "I'm astonished at this. It totally undermines the role and significance of fathers whether they are still with the child's mother or not. It also sends out a troubling message to young boys that fathers aren't important."
However, local authorities defended the change by claiming that teachers have to act "sensitively" at a time when children were experiencing family breakdown and divorce.
"Increasingly, it is the case that there are children who haven't got fathers or haven't got fathers living with them and teachers are having to be sensitive about this. Teachers have always had to deal with some pupils not having fathers or mothers, but with marital breakdown it is accelerating," said a spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council.
According to Jim Goodall, head of education at Clackmannanshire Council, said that they expect teachers to act with common sense but at the same time be sensitive to "the changing pattern of family life." (ANI)
© 2007 ANI