A primary school in Saint-Gilles has decided to take an inclusive stance to celebrating the parents of pupils. This year, it won't just be mums who are commended on 9 May; on 1 June dads will get their day too on what will become Parents’ Day.
Other schools are also considering the introduction of this new public holiday on 1 June, Bruzz reports, but Balder will be the first Brussels school to actually do so.
A school in Ghent also decided to create a joint Parents’ Day, falling between Mother’s and Father’s Day, De Morgen reported.
“Families today are different from a few years ago,” says Baldar’s director Belgin Cekic. “June 1 is International Parents’ Day. We will honour all parents or guardians of that day.”
Festivities will involve a mini school party with a food truck coming to the playground and red carpets for all moms, dads, plus-moms, plus-dads, single parents and any other guardians.
- Less than 6% of Brussels schools are in a designated school street
- Mothers still suffer from Belgium's unjust parental leave system
- Number of Belgians taking parental leave rises, still mostly women
“We want to thank the parents for entrusting their children to us but also make people aware that we are all parents and it is not just the classic family pattern that counts,” Cekic said.
Cekic is hoping for a gradual move towards more inclusive celebrations and will allow his staff to decide how to celebrate individual parents' days. Some teachers are still crafting gifts for the day, but not everyone.
“Both Mother’s and Father’s Day remain a beautiful celebration. You certainly can’t abolish it on the spot, but I do want to give a clear signal and introduce Parents’ Day systematically, in a friendly and constructive manner.”
According to the GO! school community in Brussels (which Balder is part of), other primary schools are also considering celebrating Parents' Day, but will concurrently continue with separate Mother's and Father's Days.