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School Debates Ban on Valentine Flowers

By jeannesager |

valentine-flowersA Tennessee school is debating a ban on flower deliveries this Valentine’s Day. Finally some concern for all those single teens crying in their cornflakes while the mean girls collect their carnations.

Or maybe not.

The school’s main concern? Valuable staff time is being tied up on flower deliveries instead of, well, teaching kids. And, OK, the concern for kids’ feelings comes next in the report on News Channel Five. Not to mention safety concerns for those bus rides home (you’ll rose your eye out kid!).

The issue has got a lot of local florists in a huff because they say they depend on the school deliveries to make their bills in February. But the school isn’t there to make money for the floral industry – it’s there to educate the kids. And it seems just as likely that kids with a huge heart for their sweeties would have the flowers sent to their homes if they can’t do it in school. Unless they’re that caught up in the show of it – which gets us back to that “makes others feel bad issue.”

Generally the obsessive turn toward not letting children face heartache gives me a headache. The “every kid gets a Valentine” rule does have to end sometime, and high school is supposed to be a preparation for the real world. Where gosh oh gee, not everyone gets cards and candy.

But that doesn’t mean a spectacle on behalf of the “cool kids” is in anyone’s best interest, particularly not when it takes away from classtime.

Do you think Valentine’s Day flower deliveries belong in the high schools?

Image: inga mun, flickr

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About jeannesager



Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and photographer living in upstate New York with her husband and daughter, Jillian. She maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at

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14 thoughts on “School Debates Ban on Valentine Flowers

  1. LooLoo'sMommy says:

    I am so sick of hearing about all the things schools are banning or now prohibiting. Its ridiculous! My sister is ten year younger than me and currently in high school I have sent her flowers at school since she was in sixth grade its a tradition now. If her school ban them I would be pretty mad. I would actually just bring them anyway, and insist on delivering them myself if it was such a strain on the school.

  2. JCF says:

    As a former teacher, I can see both sides of the story. On one hand, I’m not for banning all fun in schools. On the other hand, it isn’t just Valentine’s Day flowers that take up a lot of time. It is every single holiday celebration, reward parties for various events, pep rallies, assemblies, kids missing school for sports or other school related events, etc. The list could go on forever. Each of the items listed is good for it’s own reason, but it all does add up to a lot of time missed in the classroom.

  3. Kristen says:

    Maybe it’s the jaded 16-year-old in me, but I say bravo! It *was* heartwrenching to see the prettier, cooler girls get flowers delivered during home room. And it’s not like they’re not allowing kids to celebrate it — bring the damn flowers yourself, or give a different gift! I totally agree that it (nerd alert) shouldn’t cut into teaching time. Where I live, they’re having to cut school hours enough to meet budget, so they really should get as much out of the hours they’re actually there.

  4. GP says:

    Doesn’t matter about hurt feelings…there is always one thing or another that is going to hurt someone’s feelings. BUT, I don’t see why it would ever have been allowed for kids to receive deliveries of anything (except emergency medication or something…) during school hours. It’s SCHOOL, for heaven’s sake.

  5. mbaker says:

    Maybe I’m just old fashioned but I think celebrations at school have gotten way out of hand period. My son is almost 3 and this a list of the parties his class will have this year:

    -beginning of the year picnic
    -fall (Halloween) party
    -Thanksgiving party complete with personalized placemats made for all 20 of the kids by a mom
    -winter (Christmas) party. I spent half that party at Target buying books for kids to give whose parents didn’t know about the swap.
    -Valentines party.
    -Spring (Easter egg hunt) party
    -End of year party

    That doesn’t even include the arms race that kids’ birthday celebrations at school have become. It started last year with strict rules about it being something simple and healthy and has morphed into pizza deliveries, huge fancy cakes, noise makers and who knows what else.

    I honestly think that the celebrations and parties have become more about bored moms showing off than about doing something for the kids.

  6. Laure68 says:

    OK, maybe I’m dating myself, but when I was in high school I don’t remember anyone getting flowers delivered during class. The idea of interrupting class was unheard of, unless it was an emergency. Is this a new trend?

  7. jeannesager says:

    Laure68 – they didn’t do this in my high school either. We had carnations that the National Honor Society sold (I think it was honor society – maybe it was SADD, it’s been awhile!), but that was an in-school fundraiser.

  8. Alicia says:

    I never had a problem with being hurt or bothered emotionally by flowers, gifts, etc. My problem is that I have really bad allergies that I take medicine for, but put me in a closed room with five bouquets, and nothing will help. That’s why I think they should ban these things. And its a distraction from learning. But I’m more for the I wanted to breathe reason.

  9. B.McEntire says:

    In my high school it was an ASB fundraiser. They sold carnations for $1 & they were only delivered during one period of the day (sometimes 2 if there were too many to do in one). Because they were so cheap, almost all the girls would at least get one & I went to a HUGE high school. Friends sent them to friends just for fun, after all it was just a dollar.

  10. PlumbLucky says:

    jeanne – that’s what I recall about flowers in HS too. National Honor Society sold them the week before sweetest day and valentine’s day, and they were delivered during the ten minute daily waste of time that was announcements during third hour (third hour was ten minutes longer than the others for expressly this purpose, no teaching was done and most teachers would yell at you if you attempted to do any work)
    I do remember a couple of girls getting flowers delivered at school, but they were also the “promise ring virgin wh0re” set my HS anyways, and I usually rolled my eyes at the concept.

  11. Amanda B. says:

    We did this as a fundraiser for Latin Club. We had three differnt colors of carnations – one meant love, one meant “secret admirer”, and one just meant friendship, so a lot of people (primarily girls) just sent those flowers to each other. Taking a few minutes out of the day for something like this is no big deal.

  12. GP says:

    I like the idea of it being an internal fundraiser…why can’t they do it during lunch, gym or study hall?

  13. mystic_eye says:

    No deliveries in class during class time. No cell phones, no texting, etc. You are there to LEARN.

    If the school wants to organize something that’s one thing. Then its organized. But random florists delivering random flowers all day -no.

    However deliveries during breaks, spares, before/after school what have you -that’s fine.

  14. [...] it was no flower deliveries in school, now some schools are actually banning Valentine’s Day [...]

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