Blake Neff on October 20, 2015
Yet another elementary school, this time in New Jersey, is cancelling Halloween because it is offensive to the school’s diverse student body.
Seth Boyden Elementary School in Maplewood held annual Halloween activities including a student parade, but now the pressures of diversity mean these activities are no longer appropriate, school officials say.
“One of the strengths of Seth Boyden is that we are such a diverse community, with many cultures represented, and that we truly value each one,” Seth Boyden principal Mark Quiles and two Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) leaders said in a joint message to parents. “In the past, in-school celebrations of Halloween have made many of our students feel left out … [and as] a result, after careful consultation and deliberation, we have decided not to hold in-school Halloween activities.”
The letter claims in 2014 about 20 percent of the student body either stayed home on Halloween or refused to participate in activities.
This is actually the second year in a row Seth Boyden is trying to eliminate Halloween. Last year, the school tried to call off festivities, but reinstated them a day later. At the time, Quiles described non-participating in Halloween celebrations as a kind of “segregation” he could not tolerate.
This time around, Quiles says Halloween festivities were simply never planned in the first place, which may be intended to ensure they can’t be easily put back in place.
Earlier this month, several schools in Connecticut upset parents by attempting to cancel Halloween activities, but then changed course following a major backlash. (RELATED: Connecticut School Bans Halloween To Avoid Offending People)