School officials in Northboro, Massachusetts, sent a letter to parents this week stating they would be cancelling a traditional Halloween parade through school halls, WBZ reported.
This year students will instead participate in a “fall-themed spirit day” to comply with the district’s “core values of equity and inclusion,” school leaders reportedly said in the letter. However, they didn’t specify how this would align with the equity and inclusion goal, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Editor Daily Rundown: Fauci Resists Canceling Halloween)
“I understand that the Halloween parade was a wonderful memory-making experience for many students and families,” Superintendent Gregory Martineau said at a School Committee meeting Wednesday. “However, this is not the case for many students.”
About 12% of those enrolled in the district, or 120 students, did not participate in the parade last year, the Boston Herald reported. Martineau said this was for a “variety of reasons, from being scared of costumes, anxious about marching in a parade, or Halloween not being aligned with the family’s beliefs.”
“Although a 20-minute parade, it does consume an educator’s entire afternoon, getting kids organized and placed into costumes which does take time away from learning,” the Superintendent said. “Halloween is not a topic that is contained in the district curriculum.”
Some parents voiced frustrations with the decision during the school committee meeting Wednesday, WBZ reported.
“Frankly, I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why it is being taken away from my son,” one parent said, per WBZ.
“We should’ve been given the ability to have a say on it, and I don’t think that that was done, and I don’t think it was fair,” another said.
A Northboro third grader told WBZ why she likes the tradition.
“I think it’s cool because everyone can see your costume and what you are going to be for Halloween if you don’t live near them and won’t see them at Halloween,” she said, per WBZ.
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