Mass elementary school cancels Halloween because it's "not inclusive of all the students"


citizenzen

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Mar 22, 2010
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It’s an eye-roller, but I do disagree with one statement pulled from your source ...
“Put a costume on. Parade down the street. Let them have their little time,” a Walpole man said. “Why do you have to turn it into something political?
While it’s called “political correctness,” that doesn’t mean they’ve turned it into something political. Trying to be inclusive isn’t a political goal, it’s a social goal. What turns this into a political battle are the reactive spins that people impose upon a gesture that is meant to be compassionate.

I think it’s misguided and mishandled. But not every mistake has politics lurking behind it.
 

WarHeadz

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Aug 30, 2015
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Long Beach, California
This article didn't really include much detail. From what I gather, the parade was cancelled because maybe some disabled students can't participate...fine. But what's the purpose behind renaming Halloween into some generic name? That's like getting "Cocoa Peanut Butter Spheres" instead of Reese's Puffs Cereal. Generic is never the same. :(
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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Is this a public school?

If so, it's a simple solution: they should object to "Black and Orange Spirit Day" on religious beliefs, and tell them that it infringes on their 1A right to observe Samhain. ;)

Then watch their heads spin. :p

BL.
 

A.Goldberg

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Jan 31, 2015
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First of all I think it’s ridiculous. I live in Massachusetts and constantly read articles and hear reports about the significant issues with student anxiety, depression, etc... especially in the more upper class, competative towns. I don’t know much about Walpole, it’s about 30 miles outside the city but if I’m not mistaken it’s slightly above average/middle class in terms of financial demographics and very homogenous (white). Therefore, I’m not sure what then inclusivity issue is. As far as I know it’s not the kind of town where students could not afford costumes or Halloween would be some widespread cultural issues.

The other town Needham is wealthy suburb outside of Boston. It too is primarily white except has a (very) small Asian population.

Wapole’s reasoning is very vague, but I’m pretty sure this boils down to the simple fact the school not wanting to waste what they see as valuable academic time on celebrating holidays- especially given the extremely competative nature of the school systems around here.

I grew up in Connecticut (- state similar to Mass), outside of NYC in a very affluent and super competative region. I know the public middle school in my town (that I did not attend) decided not to celebrate Halloween (costumes were not allowed). Again, if I remember correctly it came down to not wasting time and causing distractions in the academic setting. It was controversial but never made the news. The focus was academic achievement. I attended Jewish private school in middle school. We didn’t celebrate Halloween, it just wasn’t what we did, but we did celebrate many of the numerous Jewish holidays throughout the year.

Personally I think these schools should give students the opportunity to unwind and celebrate Halloween. It’s apparent to me a lot of these kids are overworked and overwhelmed, especially in these high achieving school systems.
 
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s2mikey

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Sep 23, 2013
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This article didn't really include much detail. From what I gather, the parade was cancelled because maybe some disabled students can't participate...fine. But what's the purpose behind renaming Halloween into some generic name? That's like getting "Cocoa Peanut Butter Spheres" instead of Reese's Puffs Cereal. Generic is never the same. :(
So, its fine to screw over everyone else because there are some disabled people? How is taking it out on the other kids "right"? Geezus.... you cant do ANYTHING thsese days without offending, upsetting or leaving someone out.

Sick.
 
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VulchR

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Jun 8, 2009
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I am not sure who would be excluded from this - Halloween is basically an autumn harvest festival with a little bit of healthy mischief thrown in. I love Halloween, and it's even making inroads here in Scotland (mind you, the traditional Scottish 'guising', which is a little more elaborate than simple trick-or-treat in that it entails the kids doing some sort of comedy act or song, is more neighbourly).
 

WarHeadz

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Aug 30, 2015
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So, its fine to screw over everyone else because there are some disabled people? How is taking it out on the other kids "right"?
Did I say that? I was simply stating that while I can understand a potential reason for not having a parade, even if I don’t agree with it, I can’t figure out why they renamed the holiday. And the article is of no help.
 

BeeGood

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Sep 15, 2013
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This article didn't really include much detail. From what I gather, the parade was cancelled because maybe some disabled students can't participate...fine. But what's the purpose behind renaming Halloween into some generic name? That's like getting "Cocoa Peanut Butter Spheres" instead of Reese's Puffs Cereal. Generic is never the same. :(
Yeah it’s really hard to tell what’s going on based on the limited info in the article.

It sounds like there may have been some objections based on religious/spiritual reasons (otherwise, why change the name?). If that’s the case, then that’s disappointing to be honest.

We personally don’t celebrate Halloween for spiritual reasons, but I wouldn’t impose my beliefs about the day on others, and it sounds like that could be what’s going on here.
 

WarHeadz

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Aug 30, 2015
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Long Beach, California
Yeah it’s really hard to tell what’s going on based on the limited info in the article.

It sounds like there may have been some objections based on religious/spiritual reasons (otherwise, why change the name?). If that’s the case, then that’s disappointing to be honest.

We personally don’t celebrate Halloween for spiritual reasons, but I wouldn’t impose my beliefs about the day on others, and it sounds like that could be what’s going on here.
It could be due to Jehovah’s witnesses. We had a Jehovah’s Witness classmate in elementary school and he had to sit in the principals office every time we celebrated a birthday party, and he most certainly wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween with us. I kinda sorta felt bad for him but he was also kind of a dick, so then I didn’t.
 

Mac'nCheese

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This article didn't really include much detail. From what I gather, the parade was cancelled because maybe some disabled students can't participate...fine. But what's the purpose behind renaming Halloween into some generic name? That's like getting "Cocoa Peanut Butter Spheres" instead of Reese's Puffs Cereal. Generic is never the same. :(
Why couldn't disabled students participate? Aren't we supposed to teach the disabled that they can do everything that an abled person can? Instead, we cancel stuff because...why? That's how it works in the real world, when you're an adult?

"Black and orange day"? Or as the rest of the world calls it "President's Day".
 
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WarHeadz

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Aug 30, 2015
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Long Beach, California
Why couldn't disabled students participate? Aren't we supposed to teach the disabled that they can do everything that an abled person can? Instead, we cancel stuff because...why? That's how it works in the real world, when you're an adult?

"Black and orange day"? Or as the rest of the world calls it "President's Day".
Yeah I guess they can just wheel around the kid with brittle bone disease. I really don’t get what this school’s problem is. This whole thing is a bit bizarre.
 
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vrDrew

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Jan 31, 2010
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Well, I sorta hate to point this out. But Halloween (unlike Christmas and Easter) is absolutely not a Christian holiday or feast. It's not a Jewish one either: Purim, which is celebrated in March, has kids dressing up as princesses and clowns. And rather than demanding gifts from other people, Jews celebrate Purim by giving food to friends, family, and neighbors.

The Bible itself is explicitly against the whole idea of witches, potions, spells, and the like. If anything, it grew out of the Druid's belief that on November 1, demons, witches and evil spirits were freed to roam the earth.

So..... Maybe this is a case where the local Church and Synagogue leaders got together and voiced their opposition to the public celebration of an alien religious festival. On strict First Amendment grounds.

I wonder if Fox News is going to do a series on the "War on Halloween", on behalf of their Druidic viewers?
 
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yaxomoxay

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Mar 3, 2010
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Well, I sorta hate to point this out. But Halloween (unlike Christmas and Easter) is absolutely not a Christian holiday or feast. It's not a Jewish one either: Purim, which is celebrated in March, has kids dressing up as princesses and clowns. And rather than demanding gifts from other people, Jews celebrate Purim by giving food to friends, family, and neighbors.

The Bible itself is explicitly against the whole idea of witches, potions, spells, and the like. If anything, it grew out of the Druid's belief that on November 1, demons, witches and evil spirits were freed to roam the earth.

So..... Maybe this is a case where the local Church and Synagogue leaders got together and voiced their opposition to the public celebration of an alien religious festival. On strict First Amendment grounds.

I wonder if Fox News is going to do a series on the "War on Halloween", on behalf of their Druidic viewers?
Halloween is a mixed bag, if we want to tell the truth. Is part gaelic, part jewish, part Christian/Catholic. It kinda unifies fall harvests, All saint’s day, Purim, and a good dose of gaelic culture.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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USA
This article didn't really include much detail. From what I gather, the parade was cancelled because maybe some disabled students can't participate...fine. But what's the purpose behind renaming Halloween into some generic name? That's like getting "Cocoa Peanut Butter Spheres" instead of Reese's Puffs Cereal. Generic is never the same. :(
No - based on a similar case I just looked up online - it's likely because Muslims do not celebrate halloween (they are not allowed to). By changing it to a theme day vs a holiday, I am sure this can be circumvented.
 

Raid

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Feb 18, 2003
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You know decades ago I became aware that far right christian groups were banning Halloween due to it's 'satanic' connotations. So that year I dressed up as Zombie Jesus.

I wonder if it's these groups that wanted to be excluded.
Also, the parade is not inclusive of all the students and it is our goal each and every day to ensure all student’s individual differences are respected.
This school doesn't understand part of respect is voluntary participation in events that you may not normally be a part of (for one reason or another). If the event is cancelled because one will be excluded then they are not celebrating diversity but assimilating to a flat lined society.
 

The-Real-Deal82

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Jan 17, 2013
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Thank goodness Halloween isn’t viewed as a religious festival in the UK. It’s just an excuse for kids to have fun dressing up and supermarkets to dedicate an entire aisle to cheap plastic tat.
 
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Mac'nCheese

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Thank goodness Halloween isn’t viewed as a religious festival in the UK. It’s just an excuse for kids to have fun dressing up and supermarkets to dedicate an entire aisle to cheap plastic tat.
Yeah, its not really a religious thing here in the USA either. But some religions don't let kids celebrate any other holidays so they aren't allowed to go trick or treating here.
 

haxrnick

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Aug 4, 2011
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It could be due to Jehovah’s witnesses. We had a Jehovah’s Witness classmate in elementary school and he had to sit in the principals office every time we celebrated a birthday party, and he most certainly wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween with us. I kinda sorta felt bad for him but he was also kind of a dick, so then I didn’t.
This was my first thought too. We have friends who are JW and they don't celebrate anything other than Mother's and Father's day.