NEEDHAM (CBS) – Needham’s Mitchell Elementary School has canceled their Halloween festivities, and it’s no trick.

Traditionally, Halloween at Mitchell has been celebrated with class parties and a parade of kids in costumes. But some families who don’t celebrate kept their kids home. This year, teachers told the principal it felt awkward planning something not everyone would enjoy.

One Needham dad fondly remembers the way his girls planned their costumes with their classmates.

“It’s fun! I can’t see why people want to preclude kids from having fun, and enjoy something that’s more cultural,” said parent Jon Cohan. “There’s no real religious significance to anything about Halloween. It’s just a thing where kids get candy.”

Other parents, looking on the bright side – say there’s still plenty of time for sweets and spooky fun at home.

“I don’t feel it’s really related to overall learning,” said Matthew Roy. “It’s important for kids to have fun but it is a choice, per family. We definitely like to celebrate with our kids.”

In a letter sent home to parents, the school principal wrote:

“I recognize that this decision will be disappointing to some who may feel like Mitchell is changing. I would agree that this represents a change, but I believe that in the long-term any change towards including all children is a positive change that will benefit our students and our community.”

In its place, the first annual William Mitchell Day will celebrate the school community and autumn on November 9.

Comments (12)
  1. Great now having fun is being taken away

  2. Wren Lauren says:

    Teachers told the principal it felt awkward planning something not everyone would enjoy….and the principal didn’t see that as a reason to get rid of math …or school altogether? Be creative teachers….make it something they would all enjoy ,,,

  3. Wren Lauren says:

    laziness and ignorance…

  4. Josie Albert says:

    In my kids’ school, classroom parties and the Halloween parade occur during the last hour of the school day. About 10% of the kids do not celebrate for religious reasons. Those kids have a choice – participate in an alternative activity (fall arts & crafts project and games) with assigned staff or go home one hour early. I think we can accommodate for the non-celebrators without throwing away American cultural traditions. The school has a special holiday activity only 3 times a year (Halloween, Christmas-Chanukah-Kwanzaa, and Valentine’s Day). Give the kids a break! School is 100 times more difficult than when I was a kid.

  5. Jayson Sims says:

    Sad days….a few whiny aases think they can speak for everyone.
    Snowflakes abound.

  6. I can not believe that an educated professional could make such a mistake in judgment. All holidays exclude someone, therefore by his reasoning, all holidays need to stopped. Non-Christians do not celebrate Christmas, therefore no more Christmas. Non-Jews do not celebrate Hanukkah, therefore no more Hanukkah. Non-Christians do not celebrate Easter, therefore no more Easter. Native Americans do not celebrate Columbus Day, therefore no more Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day might be included too. With the exception of New Years, but some Chinese might have a problem with this one too. Get the point.

Leave a Reply