Valentine’s Day is right around the corner but at least one school in Kitchener is canceling the day of love in the classroom.

“They missed out on so much from the pandemic and then to pull this out from under them. We already bought our Valentine’s Day card and our kids really personalized them,” said Stephanie Robinson, a parent of three kids who attend Jean Steckle Public School.

In a notice sent to parents Friday, Jean Steckle Public School said, “While we acknowledge the celebration of Valentine’s, and are mindful of the popularity of that day, it is not celebrated by all students/families in our community. It is essential that all students feel welcomed and reflected at school, and that our celebrations do not negatively impact our families and students.”

The notice also tells parents: “Please do not send in Valentine cards for exchanges, or food items, as we will not be doing any class or school wide celebration.”

Robinson said the school told parents that they could hand out cards before or after school but Robinson said it’s not the same.

A spokesperson with the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) said while this decision is up to each school, “Valentine’s Day, while widely observed, at times place a financial strain on families to purchase cards or sweets. Additionally, Valentine’s Day is often celebrated through candy and sweets which are inconsistent with the Healthy Schools approach.”

Some parents said they will adjust their plans.

“We always do something on Valentine’s, do little cards among ourselves. At school, it doesn’t really matter, he’s too little to understand but I wanted him to know what it is and what it means,” said one parent picking up her son from Jean Steckle.

Robinson said her three little ones are disheartened and disappointed. She said she’s urging the school to reconsider their decision.

“Valentine’s Day is not about any specific reason except celebrating friendships and spreading love and joy,” said Robinson. “We’re just trying to keep hope that they’re going to change their mind and reverse their decision.”