Changes to Poland district’s Halloween celebration draw debate

POLAND

Some parents expressed their displeasure Monday about changes to the school district’s Halloween celebration for elementary students.

At a school board meeting, two parents spoke out against plans to do away with the tradition of an in-costume Halloween parade. 

“It seems like you’re taking everything away from these kids,” one woman said.

Another parent was upset, he said, with the fact that students will not be permitted to wear costumes to school this year. 

School administrators and a Parent-Teacher Organization member, however, said the changes come down to safety and logistics.

“To say we want to take things away from children, that’s certainly not our intent,” Superintendent David Janofa said. “It’s just trying to find what’s best for the students celebrating a holiday or recognizing a holiday, and also understanding that in running a building our primary objective is education in a safe environment. We’re trying to do the very best we can.”

Beth Bodine of the Union PTO said that when considering the logistical challenges that go into the parade, the payoff didn’t seem to match up. This way, she said, elementary students will have the chance to celebrate the holiday in other ways.

“We’re trying to give them more of an experience with the holiday,” she said.

“This is not an attempt to be politically correct,” said Union Elementary Principal Michael Masucci. The annual celebration has “become bigger than what it was intended to be.”

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