Elementary School Cancels Halloween Because It’s Not ‘Inclusive’

Citing concerns over inclusivity, an Evanston, Illinois school has canceled Halloween for students this year.

Lincoln Elementary School Principal Michelle Cooney explained the reasoning in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.

“While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by all members of our school community and for various reasons,” she said.

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“There are also inequities in how we have traditionally observed the holiday as part of our school day. Our goal at Lincoln is to provide space and opportunities for all students to be part of the community — not to create an environment that may feel exclusive or unwelcoming to any child,” Cooney added.

No parties will be taking place on Oct. 31 at Lincoln during the school day, according to the Tribune. Nor will students be donning costumes or receiving candy.

Instead of a Halloween party, students will have a “fall celebration” on Nov. 1, the Tribune reported.

The development has left some students in tears and frustrated some parents.

Nejra Bajric, whose son attends Lincoln, told the Tribune that her second grader is devastated.

“There were some tears,” Bajric said. “Every time I bring it up, he says, ‘That’s the worst; I’m just going to wear mine.’”

“They’re trying so hard to make everything inclusive that they’re excluding a lot of students,” she added. “They’re excluding those kids from having a Halloween, or low-income kids whose families work crazy hours.”

Cooney said in the statement that parents were informed of the news during the 2018-2019 school year.

“We did this a year in advance to allow our community time and space to process this change,” she said. “We acknowledge that this might feel like a loss to some.”

Mark Gruber, who has three children enrolled at Lincoln, told the Tribune that while he rated the overall job done by the administration as “very good,” he disagreed with the Halloween decision.

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“If one kid is offended, we want to try to include that kid and come with solutions, but to say we need to change our behavior in a significant way over a Halloween celebration, it’s hard to take,” he said.

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