After parents spoke out against the Milford School District's decision to forego a Halloween parade at the elementary schools, the superintendent of schools announced on Monday afternoon that the district has reversed its decision.
A petition was posted to the website Change.org and asked for other parents to support bringing back the district's annual Halloween parade.
District officials told parents that they didn't want to exclude children who could not participate in the events. So, in order to not alienate any children on the day of the party, it decided there wouldn't be a parade.
The decision was made after the district reconfigured to pre-kindergarten to fifth grade schools, rather than kindergarten to second grade schools, and third grade to fifth grade schools. Halloween parades were originally only held in the kindergarten through second grade schools.
"I understand that too, we're trying to be inclusive as possible, but it seems like a lot of harmless fun," said parent Mike Pinto.
"I think its taking away a tradition that children have done. I've done it myself, dressed up, went to school. We all got to show off our costumes," said Amelia Fekieta.
In a letter, School Superintendent Elizabeth Feser said it was a decision made by school officials, and PTAs and was looking to hold a Halloween event for students and parents, rather than have students dress up in costumes for a parade at school.
"The thoughtful discussion centered on creating a Halloween celebration that would be inclusive of all children, would involve parents, and perhaps the larger community, would engage children in games, activities and more," Feser said.
The thinking behind this decision was that a family event would include all who wanted to be a part of a Halloween celebration, while those who do not celebrate Halloween could easily not attend the event.
However, parents said decided to start the petition and said they would organize their own event so their children could dress up in costumes.
The petition titled "Bring back our American traditions to our schools!" had garnered more than 1,786 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
"I say embrace our culture and we will try to embrace yours or keep your child home," the petition's author wrote. "Our children should not miss out on our traditional activities due to people crying they're offended."
Francisco Melo takes Halloween shopping seriously, as he's won costume contests four years running. Despite his love for Oct. 31, Melo said he supported the school district's plan to cancel the Halloween parades, because some children don't take part in the holiday.
"Not everybody celebrates Halloween, so I think people need to respect the decision from the schools," Melo said.
After parents were speaking out against this decision, the district announced on Monday afternoon it will hold a Halloween parade for all elementary students on Friday, Oct. 30.
To read the full letter to parents, click here.
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