The hammer on Valentine’s Day came down swiftly and achingly last year at Walkersville Elementary School near Frederick.
Because of what she called “inappropriate interactions between boys and girls in the classroom,” Principal Stephanie Brown canceled Valentine’s Day inside the corridors of her otherwise agreeable educational institution.
No cards. No decorations. No party.
“The Scrooge of Valentine’s Day is alive in Walkersville,” a parent wrote in a letter to the Frederick News-Post.
Instead, school leaders offered up a “spring fling” for April 1, even though the thesaurus on my computer says the word fling also means “affair, love affair, relationship, romance, affaire (de cœur), amour, flirtation, dalliance, liaison, entanglement, involvement, attachment.”
But who am I to quibble with word choices? I’m just a typist.
Anyway, the reason I bring up the alleged Scrooge of Valentine’s Day today, the day before Valentine’s Day, is not to sadden you. It is to report that the school’s leaders have relented. Assistant Principal Diana Sargeant has decreed, according to the Associated Press, “that students can exchange valentines as long as no food or candy is attached.”
Valentine’s Day has been liberated.
It was not clear from the brief report why the school’s leadership suddenly backpedaled on last year’s scrooginess, but let’s not dwell on the past.
Let us rejoice that Walkersville Elementary students can once again partake in a sweet (but not, in this case, sugary) ritual going back to the days when their parents walked uphill in the snow to and from school.
There is, however, one important stipulation for this year’s celebrations: Any student who distributes valentines must allocate one for every child in the class.
That sounds like a smart, endearing and compassionate rule worth living with. At that, we should applaud. Happy early Valentine’s Day to Walkersville Elementary’s finest — and to you.
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