A primary school in the UK was criticised today after banning Valentine cards to save pupils from the emotional trauma of being rejected.
Children at Ashcombe Primary School in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, were banned from celebrating Valentine’s Day or exchanging cards because the head teacher said they are not emotionally mature enough to cope.
Peter Turner wrote to parents of the 430 pupils, aged between five and 11, warning that cards will be confiscated.
He said that children get upset when they are “dumped” which interrupts their learning.
Children should wait until they are mature enough emotionally and socially to understand the commitment in having a boyfriend or girlfriend, he said.
But parents condemned the ban as heavy-handed.
An eight-year-old boy’s father told the Daily Mail: “Learning about relationships and forming bonds with others is an important part of school life.
“Children of all ages develop crushes, and Valentine’s Day is a harmless way for them to indulge those crushes in a fun manner. It helps them to learn about love in a simple way that even very young children can understand.”
Another parent, the mother of a six-year-old girl, said it was sad the pupils would miss out on the fun and excitement of Valentine’s Day.
Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe also criticised the move, saying: “It’s only a bit of fun once a year and it doesn’t mean anything to kids that age.
“I just think it is rather silly. Haven’t they anything better to worry about at that school?
“They haven’t a clue what it’s about. I can remember at primary school people would send each other Valentines as a joke. We hadn’t a clue what it was about.”