The school district in Milford, Connecticut, has cancelled Halloween in all of its schools because too many kids felt “excluded,” WPXI (Pittsburgh) is reporting.
In a letter sent home with kids last week, parents learned that the Halloween parades at district schools, beloved by parents and kids for generations, are no more. Further, kids and school employees are forbidden from wearing costumes. Classrooms can have decorations, but they must be fall-themed, not Halloween-themed. And candy is out (food allergies).
The decision to ban Halloween, according to the letter, “arose out of numerous incidents of children being excluded from activities due to religion, cultural beliefs, etc.”
Some Muslims, for example, consider the celebration of Halloween haram — forbidden — due to its roots in pre-Christian, pagan religions, and the later Christian influences that shaped the holiday, according to About Islam.
“Virtually all Halloween traditions are based either in ancient pagan culture, or in Christianity. From an Islamic point of view, they all are forms of idolatry (shirk).”
Similarly, many Christians also eschew Halloween because of its pagan origins and its alleged connection to devil worship. Writing in Christian Answers, Paul S. Taylor writes that Halloween is antithetical to the practice of Christianity.
“The October 31st holiday that we today know as Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan. It is a holiday that generally glorifies the dark things of this world, rather than the light of Jesus Christ, The Truth.”
And of course, Halloween is a nightmare for kids with food allergies or dietary restrictions (and their parents). Food allergies are on the rise these days, says CNN, and if a candy bar with peanuts in it can literally kill your child, or if a baked muffin with gluten in it can make the next few hours a nightmare for everyone in your house, you certainly don’t want strangers giving your kids food.
For these reasons and possibly others, several kids in the Milford (population: 51,000) schools felt like they were excluded from Halloween celebrations, and the district decided enough was enough. Halloween is no more at Milford schools.
Not all Milford parents are happy about the Halloween ban, however. According to Connecticut Post. Milford parent Victoria Johannsen got the letter about the Halloween ban, and she found it ridiculous.
“I think it’s crazy. I don’t understand why other avenues weren’t pursued.”
Johannsen says that she respects other parents’ beliefs, but she doesn’t understand why those beliefs mean her own daughter, a third-grader, can’t show off her Halloween costume with other kids in her school’s annual Halloween parade.
The outrage has even made its way to the internet. Milford resident Rebecca Lilley started a petition on Change.org (“Bring back our AMERICAN traditions to our schools!”) calling on Milford schools to rescind the Halloween ban. Petitioners seem quite unhappy — some are pointing out that cancelling traditions because some are offended is un-American.
“These dipsh**s want to ban a tradition of the Halloween parade in public schools because it offends some people. this country is called America, if you don’t like it get out.”
Others reiterate their belief that Halloween is simply harmless fun.
“This is absolutely ridiculous. Halloween is for the kids, to pretend to be someone else in life for a day. Whoever doesn’t celebrate doesn’t have to dress up.”
As of this post, over 1,300 supporters have signed the petition.
Do you think the Milford schools were right to cancel Halloween? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image Via Shutterstock / altanaka]