Penn. elementary school plans to cancel Halloween - KMSP-TV

Penn. elementary school plans to cancel Halloween, parents upset

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Parents in one town in Pennsylvania are upset with plans to cancel Halloween. School officials said the holiday has religious overtones that could upset other students.

Halloween is perhaps the only time of the year you can wear a costume to class. But there will be no Iron Man, Power Rangers or Superman at Inglewood Elementary School in Towamencin, Pennsylvania this year.

"I'm very upset," Inglewood parent Jodie Bigert said. "I think the kids are missing out."

A letter written by Inglewood's principal said there will be no Halloween parade or celebration this October. The letter says some people consider holidays like this one to be secular, while others say they have religious overtones.

"I think it's ridiculous," town resident Tom Flanegan said. "I don't think that you could speak to one child in this school district and ask them what Halloween is about, and get an answer with any type of religious backing to it."

The letter went on to say the school district's policy directs all North Penn schools to not sponsor or support celebration of Halloween parades, Halloween parties or dressing in Halloween costumes.

In response to the principal's message, the North Penn School District issued a statement:

"The Inglewood Elementary School letter addressing Halloween is not an accurate representation of the school district's administrative regulation (Regulation 6119 below). Schools are permitted to have Halloween parties in their classrooms during the day. School-wide activities such as parades are permitted before and after the school day."

"I feel like they're trying to cover their tracks by throwing our principal under the bus," Bigert said, "who's one of the best educators I've ever met in my life."

A district spokesperson said the new regulations for building-wide celebrations come from "demands for academic achievement."

"If you take some of the fun away," Bigert continued, "then the learning isn't as strong."

The district said there will be a fall festival after school, where kids can wear their costumes on Oct. 18.

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