As soon as parents walk through the other side of the back-to-school cloud, the next big Fall event to start prepping for is Halloween — but some public schools are making it so Halloween is merely a holiday celebrated at home, banning parades, costumes, and parties in class. Milford Public Schools in Connecticut are the latest to cause a parental uproar after the announcement of their Halloween parade ban, cutting spooky celebrations to respect the beliefs and backgrounds of their diverse student body.
After hearing the news of the ban — and finding out that the schools would celebrate Fall with a costume-free evening event, called "Trunk or Treat" — outraged parents began signing a petition created by a mom in the district, Rebecca Lilley: "I was shocked to find out our annual Halloween parade has been discontinued throughout our district. This is just not right. Growing up in America there are certain traditions and celebrations we have become accustomed to celebrating at home and during school!"
The petition has gained over 3,000 signatures in just about a week — all from enraged parents who believe traditions are being taken away from their kids — which caused the district to respond with another letter:
The misinformation around the decisions the school made tied to celebrating Halloween is huge, and the spreading of untruths by parents and members of the community very disturbing.
The thoughtful discussion centered on creating a Halloween celebration that would be inclusive of all children, would involve parents, and perhaps the larger community, would engage children in games, activities and more.
The thinking behind this decision was that a family event in the early evening would enable all who wanted to be a part of a Halloween celebration to do so. Meanwhile, children who for religious or cultural reasons would not take part, could easily, and without stigmatization, not attend the event. In addition, in recognition of many working parents who have difficulty leaving work to come to school, an evening event would allow them to be present with their children. Finally, for children who may not have a costume to wear at school, a family evening event that centered on fun and games, and not on one's costume, seemed far more appropriate.
According to the petition's page, the parades have allegedly been restored due to the parents' pleas. "Thank you to everyone that signed this petition! We came together and our voices were heard!" wrote Lilley.
There has been no news from the school district yet as to whether this claim is true.