A Massachusetts elementary school has canceled Halloween with the claim that the holiday is not” inclusive” enough, and replaced it with the conjured “Black and Orange Spirit Day,” instead.
Of particular concern for the city of Walpole’s Boyden Elementary principal Brendan Dearborn was the annual costume parade, an activity Dearborn insisted in a letter to parents was not “inclusive enough.”
Addressing the parade, Dearborn told parents, “the costume parade is out of our ordinary routine and can be difficult for many students. 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.”
Dearborn confirmed that the annual after-school party would still take place, but that Halloween Day, a Tuesday this year, will be “Black and Orange Spirit Day,” not Halloween. Children will be encouraged to wear the “spirit” colors and costumes will be banned.
But many parents are critical of the principal’s move.
“We have numerous events at the school that are not ‘all inclusive,’ so if you cancel one event, you have to cancel them all,” parent Julie Rowre said to Fox Boston.
Another local resident told CBS Boston that the principal’s decision is a bit ridiculous. “Put a costume on. Parade down the street. Let them have their little time,” he said. “Why do you have to turn it into something political?”
“I think it’s a lot of political correctness,” another Walpole woman told CBS. “I think it’s a shame because Halloween is the funnest day of the year next to Christmas for children.”
Principal Dearborn refused multiple requests from several media outlets to comment on the cancellation of the school’s Halloween celebrations.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.