EAST LANSING, Michigan – Elementary school principals in a Michigan school district are canceling Halloween and Valentine’s Day celebrations due to concerns about equity and inclusion raised by parents.
Elementary school principals at East Lansing Public Schools on Wednesday sent a joint letter to families announcing that there would be no more Halloween or Valentine’s Day celebrations in the classroom due to potential distractions and a growing number of uncomfortable families.
“It’s not uncommon to see students cry on Halloween” because they don’t have the same kind of costumes as other kids or they haven’t brought the same amazing valentines as other kids ” “Deputy Superintendent Glenn Mitcham said.” We strive hard in East Lansing Public Schools to be a fair and inclusive district for all families. “
But the district does not cancel Halloween or Valentine’s Day in any way, Mitcham said. Instead, the celebrations can be built into the program. He used the example of a class measuring a pumpkin while learning the circumference.
Schools will also seek to organize alternative celebrations throughout the year to celebrate students achieving academic or behavioral goals.
Halloween and Valentine’s Day continue to be celebrated at MacDonald High School and East Lansing High School in the school district, Mitcham said, but to a lesser extent. Some students may put on a costume for Halloween, but there are few or no parties.
Celebrating Halloween and Valentine’s Day at the elementary level is more problematic, he said.
“Each year, in addition to the fun of the Halloween parties and parades, we also have students whose families don’t celebrate or feel comfortable with their children participating in the Halloween festivities,” wrote elementary school principals. “We have young children who are overwhelmed and sometimes scared of costumes and others who come to school without any costume at all.”
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In recent years, some families have kept their children at home or picked them up early on Halloween Day, according to the letter. Costumes, parades and parties can also prevent children from concentrating and teachers from teaching, the principals wrote.
Valentine’s Day brings its own set of “unintended consequences,” the directors wrote. Some students bring valentines to swap at school, while others do not, resulting in “drama and teasing” in upper elementary classrooms.
Meanwhile, some families and students “don’t feel comfortable with the idea of boys and girls exchanging Valentine’s Day or participating in a celebration focused on ‘love’,” wrote the school principals.
“While this may be a disappointment and / or an adjustment for some of our students / families at the start, we promise to continue to offer alternative days throughout the school year that are full of fun and learning, for everyone, ”the elementary school principals wrote. .
Contact Mark Johnson at 517-377-1026 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.