Canadian National Anthem Kerfuffle

9 years ago

A couple of weeks ago it came out that a school in Belleisle, New Brunswick decided more than a year ago to stop playing the Canadian national anthem, "O Canada" everyday because some parents had objected to it. What followed was a bunch of people flipping their wigs. Some people flipped at the accusation that the national anthem was "offensive" or "objectionable". Others pointed out that God is mentioned in the anthem, making it less inclusive. Still others wonder what the big deal is? Does the anthem need to be played every day? Is it vital to a child's education?

The principle of Belleisle Elementary, Erik Millett, won't say what the parents objected to, citing privacy concerns. He went on to say:

"We try to balance the needs of every student, and we want every student to feel welcome in our school," Millett said.

"If we need to make some accommodations or exceptions, then we'll try to put those in place regardless of what the issue is."

That comment raised a few hackles and led to much speculation about why the parents objected. Was it God? Were they immigrants? Blue Like You wants to know if God should be taken out of our national anthem. Melissa could get behind PCing it up.

I think if we are to PC up the anthem I vote for this change because half of the population cannot be ignored.
Jamaicans have a saying - out of many one people. I think that fits for Canada as well.

Echomouse not only sang the national anthem - they sang "God Save the Queen" too.

Currently, public schools in Canada don't always have their students sing our national anthem, O Canada, at the start of every day. When I was kid, we sang O Canada, said the Lord's Prayer, and for the early years of my education, sang God Save the Queen too.

jGrrl says it's just a song.

Is the anthem mandatory to graduate? No, then why are we forcing the kids to do it?
In my school we were forced to sing the anthem and then we were forced to either say "the lord's prayer" or go out in the hall and stand alone until it was finished. Is that fair? No. Does it promote bullying and intolerance? Yes.

Runesmith would just like everyone to shut up already.

I've been really trying to ignore the whole kerfuffle over the anthem-less school in New Brunswick, but it's getting hard to concentrate with all the SHRIEKING going on. So, a few thoughts:
1) This school stopped singing the anthem over a year ago and nobody noticed or cared.

I spent the better part of the last week trying to remember if we listened to the national anthem every day in elementary school I couldn't remember. Neither could one of my best friends. We think that we maybe listened to it every day. We know we heard it often enough to remember. We also remember learning the words to the anthem in elementary school and we learned it our regular classroom, not in music class. We can't remember if we listened to it every day in junior high or not but we do remember a very short lived attempt at making us say The Lord's Prayer every day. We know we didn't listen to it every day in high school but did at school assemblies and such, much like it is at Belleisle Elementary. We clearly don't remember a lot but somewhere along the line the words and the proper behaviours were drilled into us. I don't know that it's so important that they sing it every day I do think that is important that kids know how to behave during the anthem, and they should learn the words to it.

Belleisle Elementary has been ordered by the school superintendant to play the national anthem daily. Do you think they should have to?

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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