LANCASTER — Some students at Endeavour Middle School had valentines meant for teachers and other students confiscated Thursday.
A reader who contacted the Antelope Valley Press questioned the practice, saying it seems absurd to discourage “acts of kindness” at “a time when hate and fighting are dealt with daily.”
Teachers Association of Lancaster President Gina Whipple, who works at Endeavour, said she was shocked when she learned about it.
“I’m embarrassed,” Whipple said. “It didn’t even occur to me that it would have been my school.”
School is closed today, Valentine’s Day, so students brought their gifts Thursday. School is also closed Monday for Presidents Day.
Whipple said several of her students brought her cards and candy. She didn’t realize other items were confiscated until she called the office to confirm it. Some of her students also confirmed it.
Whipple said it was confusing because Endeavour’s ASB sold roses and carnations for Valentine’s Day.
Deputy Superintendent Lexy Conte responded to the Valley Press inquiry via email:
“It is a longstanding practice at our middle schools to secure large Valentine’s Day items such as balloons, bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals in the office until the end of the school day,” Conte wrote. “This keeps items safe and prevents students from having to carry large items from classroom to classroom all day long. Additionally, by storing the Valentine’s Day items in the office, those items do not become a distraction in the classroom, ensuring students receive an appropriate educational environment.”