A school headteacher is under fire for banning pupils from making Mother's Day cards to avoid upsetting children without a mother.
Helen Starkey, 46, fears the time-honoured tradition of making a Mother's Day card at school could be seen as insensitive. As a result, the headteacher of Johnstown Primary School, in Carmarthen, west Wales, simply banned pupils from making cards.
But the move was branded as "ridiculous" by one angry parent who has accused her of being insensitive to the majority of youngsters at the 357-pupil school.
Mrs Starkey claims she has nothing against Mother's Day, which falls on March 18 this year, but would not allow pupils to make cards during lessons.
"More than 5% of children here are separated from their birth mother and have either no contact or no regular contact with their mother," she said in a statement.
"These include children who are bereaved, children whose parents are separated and are not domiciled with their mothers, and children who have been removed from parental care by statutory bodies. In all of our dealings with these children, we have to exercise great sensitivity."
She added: "This decision was not taken because of any philosophical attitude towards the celebration of Mothering Sunday, but to protect a significant number of children in our school."
But the decision has come in for strong criticism.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: "It means 95% of the children have not got an opportunity to make a card. I take issue with the fact that Mothering Sunday is a Christian festival and Mrs Starkey is not allowing children to celebrate in the way they know how."
She added: "This is ridiculous, they will have to ban Father's Day as well, just to be politically correct. Where is this going to end?"
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