Public schools across the country are cancelling Halloween celebrations over issues ranging from candy corn to concerns that Americans are forcing their holiday traditions on new immigrants and many parents are angered by what they are calling political correctness.
The principal at Buckman Elementary School in Portland, OR recently banned costumes at his school, calling instead for boys and girls to embrace a “spirit of equity.”
“For many reasons, the celebration of Halloween at school can lead to student exclusion,” Principal Brian Anderson wrote in a letter to parents. “There are social, financial and cultural differences among our families that we must respect.”
Anderson told the newspaper that any child who shows up to school with a costume will be required to change clothes. He defended his ban saying that Halloween at school excludes children.
“We’re pushing our traditions on an ever-changing population,” he told the Portland Mercury. “Halloween is, in many ways, personal to some people and to other people it’s very offensive.”
Halloween celebrations have also been banned in some schools across Michigan.
“Change is hard,” Carol Dawson told the Muskegon Chronicle. She’s the principal at Holton Elementary school – where candy corn and candied apples have been replaced with a fall festival focused on health and wellness.
Edgewood Elementary School in Fruitport, MI, decided to steer clear of both Halloween parties and costumes parades. The principal told the Chronicle she wanted to keep children safe and avoid hurt feelings.
“Emotionally, it is a difficult time for kids who don’t have costumes,” Amy Upham told the newspaper.
So instead of cookies and candy, the kids at Edgewood Elementary will get “fall-centered fun and educational activities.”
In Springfield, NJ, elementary school principals banned costumes claiming it caused classroom disruptions.