Schools in Chicago are Cancelling Halloween

October 1, 2019

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Lincoln Elementary School in Evanston, IL is canceling all Halloween celebrations this year and parents are NOT happy.

Michelle Cooney, the school's principal, gave a statement saying the reason behind the cancelation was to honor the school’s value of equity and to be inclusive of all students within the community, particularly those who do not celebrate the holiday. She wants to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all her students. Cooney said while many students have fun family traditions, not all students celebrate the holiday and the school does not want to be unwelcoming to any child.

One parent, in particular, Mrs. Bajric, feels very strongly about the decision becasue as part of a Bosnian and Muslim immigrant refugee family, Hallowen for her was a way to assimiliate. Her parents worked multiple jobs and while they did not particpate directly in the holiday, Bajric was able to celebrate at school which are now some of her fondest memories. She argues that Halloween is a way for kids from other countries to celebrate a cultural holiday and feel like the other kids. Bajric also believes that for some students from low-income families celbrating at school might be the only way they can take part in the holiday. 

Many parents are frustrated because they feel like they have been left out of the decision-making process and have yet to receive clarity on the reasons behind it. 

Cooney, the principal, argues that the school informed the parents last year in order to give them time to process, but apparently no one was listening. 

This has become a hot topic in many school districts and its interesting to see the changes being made.