Following the schools in Chicago who canceled Halloween celebrations inside premises, schools in New Jersey are banning Halloween parades.
Since forever, some people have always argued that Halloween is not a real festival but an overly commercialized holiday that benefits certain groups. Now, that belief seems to be catching on, as more and more organizations are boycotting Halloween and the latest against the darkest day of the year is sparking in New Jersey.
According to reports, a petition has been started by a parent against schools participating in Halloween parades and it is being well received by people. Many elementary schools have announced that they will not be a part of Halloween parades keeping 'safety' issues in mind.
“Over the years, we have monitored the level of attendance at the parades and have found the crowds to be very large with some adults not following the guidelines we have given," school's superintendent Annette Giaquinto told New Jersey 101.5. "It has become quite challenging to appropriately monitor and handle the crowd. Thankfully, no major incident has occurred. At this point, we are trying to be proactive rather than reactive."
On the other hand, elementary schools in urban Chicago have made hundreds of children cry by canceling their favorite holiday altogether. The reason? Apparently Halloween is not 'inclusive' of all and not really a 'holiday.' According to the Chicago Tribune, Lincoln Elementary School has issued a notice informing parents that Halloween has been canceled and will not be celebrated at the school. Several other schools have joined in to echo the sentiment that the children who have been putting together their Halloween costume for months are heartbroken.
Parents are not at all happy with the decision and the school is receiving backlash. Explaining themselves, the principal of the school has issued a statement: "As part of our school and district-wide commitment to equity, we are focused on building community and creating inclusive, welcoming environments for all. While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by all members of our school community and for various reasons."
"There are also inequities in how we have traditionally observed the holiday as part of our school day. Our goal at Lincoln is to provide space and opportunities for all students to be part of the community — not to create an environment that may feel exclusive or unwelcoming to any child," the principal added. However, parents are not convinced.
“Halloween is a cultural American holiday, and it’s being canceled because of religious groups,” one of the parents told the media outlet. “We’re a Bosnia and Muslim immigrant and refugee family. Halloween, when we moved (to Chicago) from a different country, was one of the greatest things.” Earlier, a petition surfaced asking the government to officially move Halloween from 31st to the last Saturday of the month and it gained over 148,628 signatures and has moved to White House. Maybe outrages over Halloween like these are the reason people are preferring to celebrate Halloween on a non-school day. Do you think these actions are justified?