Officials Cancel Halloween Celebrations
POSTED: 12:12 pm EDT October 27, 2005
UPDATED: 6:01 pm EDT October 27, 2005
NEWTON, Mass. -- A Newton elementary school decided Halloween will not be celebrated at its school this year, officials said Thursday.
NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that the Underwood Elementary School has had a tradition of celebrating the holiday, but some families complained that the day is offensive.
"What should have happened, instead of this being raised a few days before Halloween, the folks who are concerned should have raised it six months ago. We should have had the conversation, and then we would have had an amicable situation, instead of having parents quite upset about this. The kids are also quite upset," parent Geoffrey Epstein said.
School officials sent out a notice Friday that Halloween activities were being canceled because some parents found them offensive to religious beliefs. Some said that they were uncomfortable to the point that they were keeping children home.
"It was hard to say we should continue these practices given the fact that some kids were so uncomfortable, so we discontinued the tradition, but we are trying to replace those with a fall celebration, " Principal David Castelline said.
"I think they should cancel it because it's the only fair way, even though am disappointed," student Carina Wallack said.
"If they believe that, then maybe we shouldn't have it here," student Sam Clark said.
Clark could only think about the pressure his principal was under.
"I just feel what my principal feels because I don't want him to be under pressure," he said.
The fall celebration is scheduled for Nov. 4. School officials said that later in the year, there will be a different kind of costume celebration, where staff members will be able to dress up like some of their favorite literary characters. Copyright 2005 by TheBostonChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.