Halloween Canceled: Michigan School District to Forgo Traditional Activities Due to Inclusion Concerns

Photo: (Photo : Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

The principals in some Michigan schools have agreed to forgo the traditional Halloween activities, as well as the annual Valentine's Day commemoration after some parents allegedly raised their concerns about inclusion.

Officials of East Lansing Public Schools sent a letter to the school community advising them that the regular Halloween festivities will not push through this year. Apparently, some parents expressed discomfort about letting their kids participate in the costume-wearing because their sons or daughters may become overwhelmed or easily frightened. Some elementary children could also end up crying when they see other costumes that they didn't have.

In the same manner, Valentine's Day activities will also be different in February to do away with upsetting children who may not get "amazing" gifts from their classmates. Parents also said that they disagree with young boys and girls giving presents that focus on the celebration of romantic love, leading to "drama and teasing."

"We're striving hard at East Lansing Public Schools to be a district that is equitable and inclusive for all families," the letter stated.

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Concentrating on Classwork

The school officials said that instead of the usual activities, they would have teachers incorporate Halloween and Valentine's Day in the curriculum. For instance, Math classes could include measuring pumpkins to learn about the circumference. Students might also get some commendations on these holidays for meeting behavioral or academic goals.

MacDonald Middle School and East Lansing High School, which also fall in the same school district, plan to scale down Halloween parties. However, the students will not be prohibited from wearing a costume if they choose to do so.

Understandably, the school officials said that other parents and students might be disappointed by their decision. Moving forward, however, the educators said that they would plan a school year "full of fun and learning" for everyone.

Following the announcement, one parent took to social media to say that there will come a time when "there is no joy to be had anywhere." Another parent said that this decision will rob the kids of precious childhood memories after such a horrible year of lockdowns because the adults are "overthinking things."

One netizen also said that the rules should be simple, and those who don't like it can always choose not to join instead of making the school "accommodate their fears."

Seattle Cancels Halloween Parade

The news comes after Seattle Public Schools also announced that there would be no Halloween parade this year. The decision doesn't have to do with the pandemic, but it prevents students who do not celebrate the holiday from feeling marginalized.

The school officials said they have been mulling over this for five years after repeatedly getting requests from students of color who skip the parade and isolate themselves at the library. In a statement, the officials said they would be replacing the events with more educational opportunities.

Kids at the Seattle Public Schools will not have to wear costumes, but a parent said this call had been an exercise in "wokeism" from a school staff largely made up of White Americans. One Asian parent said the school did not involve them in the decision.

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