Hold the candy.
Halloween and Valentine’s Day have been canceled for elementary-school students in a Michigan district over concerns about being “inclusive” and “equitable.”
East Lansing Public Schools informed parents of the decision to cancel the two holidays this week, the Lansing State Journal reports.
The celebrations were dropped because of concerns over hurt feelings by kids in families who don’t want them to participate, the district’s elementary-school principals said in a joint letter to parents.
“Each year, along with the fun of Halloween parties and parades, we also have students whose families do not celebrate or feel comfortable with their children participating in Halloween festivities,” the principals wrote.
“We have young children who become overwhelmed and sometimes frightened of the costumes and others who come to school with no costume at all.”
Officials also added that it was difficult for students to remain concentrated on classwork amid Halloween celebrations.
As for Valentine’s Day, the principals said some families and students “do not feel comfortable with the idea of boys and girls exchanging valentines or participating in a celebration that focuses on ‘love.’
“While some students bring valentines to exchange, others do not,” the principals wrote.
“In our upper elementary classrooms, the exchange of valentines sometimes leads to classroom drama and teasing.”
Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham said Halloween and Valentine’s Day could still be incorporated into the curriculum – they just won’t be celebrated going forward.
As an example, he said classes could measure a pumpkin to learn about its circumference.
“We’re striving hard at East Lansing Public Schools to be a district that is equitable and inclusive for all families,” the principals wrote.
The news comes just days after a Seattle elementary school announced it had canceled its annual Halloween parade this year – because it “marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday.”
Some Jehovah’s Witnesses, evangelical Christians and Muslims are among those who do not celebrate Halloween.
The decision to cancel the Pumpkin Parade at Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School was made by the Racial Equity Team.