In an effort to promote inclusivity for their students, it seems more and more schools are attempting to eradicate Halloween celebrations and festivities. One of the first examples was the Evanston/Skokie school district. They issued a statement on September 27th which declared that the school would be “moving away” from celebrating Halloween.
Here’s the official statement which was given to Yahoo Lifestyle. According to it, the schools find Halloween to be too exclusive to be fit for all religious types and that it may be difficult for some students to afford costumes.
“As part of our school and district-wide commitment to equity, we are focused on building community and creating inclusive, welcoming environments for all,” the statement read. “While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by everyone for various reasons and we want to honor that.
“We are also aware of the range of inequities that are embedded in Halloween celebrations that take place as part of the school day and the unintended negative impact that it can have on some students, families, and staff. As a result, we are moving away from Halloween celebrations that include costumes and similar traditions during the school day. We are confident our school communities will find new and engaging ways to build community within their schools.
“In District 65, we remain committed to equity and discontinuing current and past practices that are not in alignment with our goals. Our schools are special because of the people who are a part of them and our commitment to serving the educational needs of our students. Many of our schools have already moved away from the traditional Halloween activities during the school day and have scheduled Halloween or other seasonal activities outside of the school day.”
Many other schools have issued similar messages regarding the lack of inclusivity and their efforts to cease celebrating Halloween.
“We want to be inclusive of all families including those families who don’t celebrate Halloween or find purchasing a costume a hardship,” officials at Hillcrest Elementary School in Waukesha, Wis., stated in 2017.
Meanwhile officials at North Country Elementary in Antelope, California, stated:
“We have consistently respected the right of families to choose to have their children participate, or not, in such celebrations,” it read. “However, when the number of students choosing to not participate becomes significant, it is incumbent on the school leadership to re-evaluate and determine if the event is truly meeting the social and academic needs of its student population.”
Meanwhile Vermont’s Burlington School District is one of many that believes costumes could be culturally insensitive. They’ve stated that “many people are made uncomfortable by the notion that you change your identity, you turn into someone else and those somebody else’ could represent cultural appropriations.”
It’s definitely beginning to look like a tough time for Halloween. Obviously some people disagree with the above opinions and think the holiday should continue to be celebrated. But for others, it’s just not politically correct enough.