Connecticut school district bans Halloween for reasons of 'inclusiveness'

In Milford, Conn., 350 parents have signed a petition requesting that the local school district restore the observance of Halloween, banned because officials say there have been several incidents of children being excluded due to "cultural beliefs."

EAG News:

Victoria Johannsen, a mother of a third-grader at Live Oaks School in Milford Public Schools, says she received a letter stating the school’s decision to no longer recognize Halloween “arose out of numerous incidents of children being excluded from activities due to religion, cultural beliefs, etc.,” the Connecticut Post reports.

The school is discontinuing a popular costume parade, banning students and staff from wearing costumes on the day and is rebranding Oct. 31st to be “fall themed.”

And if that’s not bad enough, Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules are impacting the lack of fun: “food is not an option” for classroom activities, according to the school’s letter.

“I think it’s crazy,” she tells the paper. “I don’t understand why other avenues weren’t pursued” to accommodate any families or children who felt excluded, she adds.

“I don’t think we’re excluding anybody,” Johannsen insists. “I think they’re excluding themselves.”

She and over 350 other parents have signed a petition calling on the school district to restore the fun and allow children to walk in the parade.

“These are our American customs and traditions and we should not have to give them up because others find them offensive!” the petition at Change.org reads. “I’m so tired (of) my kids missing out on some of the things we all got to do as children and are some of the greatest childhood memories I have due to others saying they find it offensive.”

Jim Richetelli, chief operations officer for Milford schools, tells the paper he has “no direct knowledge” about Live Oaks’ ban on Halloween, but claims such moves are out of a concern for diversity.

“Milford Public Schools do have many children from diverse beliefs, cultures and religions,” he says. “The goal is for all children to feel comfortable and definitely not alienated when they come to school.”

While there are several religions that don't recognize Halloween – including many devout Christian ones – this is clearly an example of the tyranny of the minority.  The vast majority of kids are being denied one of the pleasures of childhood because a tiny minority either objects or would feel left out of the festivities. 

Wouldn't "inclusiveness" demand that the celebration go forward?  Taking the position that denying everyone the fun of Halloween is better than finding alternatives to celebrating Halloween on the same day for those who choose not to participate is illogical.  Why can't the kids who feel left out dress up as carrots or some other vegetable to celebrate the fall harvest? 

The lament of the parent who wishes her children could have the opportunity for the same childhood memories that she had is becoming all too familiar across the country as school officials are terrified of offending anyone for any reason whatsoever.  Is it more traumatic to be left out of a Halloween celebation or be blamed for canceling it?  That's a question officials refuse to ask, much less answer.

In Milford, Conn., 350 parents have signed a petition requesting that the local school district restore the observance of Halloween, banned because officials say there have been several incidents of children being excluded due to "cultural beliefs."

EAG News:

Victoria Johannsen, a mother of a third-grader at Live Oaks School in Milford Public Schools, says she received a letter stating the school’s decision to no longer recognize Halloween “arose out of numerous incidents of children being excluded from activities due to religion, cultural beliefs, etc.,” the Connecticut Post reports.

The school is discontinuing a popular costume parade, banning students and staff from wearing costumes on the day and is rebranding Oct. 31st to be “fall themed.”

And if that’s not bad enough, Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules are impacting the lack of fun: “food is not an option” for classroom activities, according to the school’s letter.

“I think it’s crazy,” she tells the paper. “I don’t understand why other avenues weren’t pursued” to accommodate any families or children who felt excluded, she adds.

“I don’t think we’re excluding anybody,” Johannsen insists. “I think they’re excluding themselves.”

She and over 350 other parents have signed a petition calling on the school district to restore the fun and allow children to walk in the parade.

“These are our American customs and traditions and we should not have to give them up because others find them offensive!” the petition at Change.org reads. “I’m so tired (of) my kids missing out on some of the things we all got to do as children and are some of the greatest childhood memories I have due to others saying they find it offensive.”

Jim Richetelli, chief operations officer for Milford schools, tells the paper he has “no direct knowledge” about Live Oaks’ ban on Halloween, but claims such moves are out of a concern for diversity.

“Milford Public Schools do have many children from diverse beliefs, cultures and religions,” he says. “The goal is for all children to feel comfortable and definitely not alienated when they come to school.”

While there are several religions that don't recognize Halloween – including many devout Christian ones – this is clearly an example of the tyranny of the minority.  The vast majority of kids are being denied one of the pleasures of childhood because a tiny minority either objects or would feel left out of the festivities. 

Wouldn't "inclusiveness" demand that the celebration go forward?  Taking the position that denying everyone the fun of Halloween is better than finding alternatives to celebrating Halloween on the same day for those who choose not to participate is illogical.  Why can't the kids who feel left out dress up as carrots or some other vegetable to celebrate the fall harvest? 

The lament of the parent who wishes her children could have the opportunity for the same childhood memories that she had is becoming all too familiar across the country as school officials are terrified of offending anyone for any reason whatsoever.  Is it more traumatic to be left out of a Halloween celebation or be blamed for canceling it?  That's a question officials refuse to ask, much less answer.