School drops tradition

CRYSTAL Creek Public School has decided to ditch Mother's and Father's Day in favour of the more politically correct tag "Special Person's Day".

The school's Parents and Citizens president Kelly Plomgren said they decided to introduce the new name to take into account the feelings of students who don't have both parents or any parents for whatever reason.

"As the President of the Crystal Creek School P&C Association, I felt I was in the position to make a change and spoke to the school principal Laurie Gee and other committee members who all gave their full support," she said.

"With everyone in agreeance it was voted that Mother's Day and Father's Day at the Crystal Creek School would now officially become Special Person's Day."

Ms Plomgren is driving the change and says the issue is very close to her heart.

After a near-fatal car crash in 2006 she said she often contemplated how different life for her three daughters could have been.

Ms Plomgren sustained numerous injuries in the crash, including a C1 fracture to the left side of her neck, a potentially fatal injury, but amazingly she survived and is among a minority of people who have not been left paralysed.

During her long rehabilitation journey Ms Plomgren said she was fortunate to have met Tweed Heads psychologist Nerida Saunders, who explained the impact Mother's and Father's Day can have on a child who has lost a parent.

"She said a simple Mother's or Father's Day stall at school can become very traumatic for not only a child who has lost a parent, but also for children who come from separated families." Ms Plomgren said the shock of realising how close her children came to a life without their mother forced her to face the issue.

She said all children have a special person in their life.

"Someone they love, be it a relative, friend or neighbour," she said. "By simply changing the words and adding a few non-gender specific gifts to the Special Persons Day stall, I believe the small change will be of huge benefit."

Ms Plomgren said she believed Crystal Creek Public School had now created a more comfortable environment for any child who may be affected on these days.

"I encourage all schools and organisations to become involved and be part of the change."

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