In an effort to be "inclusive," Halloween costumes are out this year at Hillcrest Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin — and some parents aren't happy with the change.
How did this all start?
- Parents told WTMJ-TV the school minimized the Halloween angle of its annual Fall Festival a while back, although costumes were still allowed for the parade — just no blood or gore.
- But parents found out this year would be different via a newsletter, the station said. It noted: "To maximize that fun and time of fall fest, we are going to ask families to not send costumes this year. We want to be inclusive of all families including those families who don't celebrate Halloween or find purchasing a costume a hardship. Also, there have been behavior and time management concerns related changing into and out of costumes."
How are some parents reacting?
- "It just kind of seems the way that society is going," Crystal Landry told WTMJ, calling the change "sad" and that "there's different paths they could have gone down instead of just canceling the whole thing all together."
- Jeremy Watson told the station the Halloween costumes at school "is something that I know the kids look forward to every year." He added that "if money was actually an issue there's enough people that would have donated."
- Watson added to WTMJ that the event doesn't have to be "inclusive" and that those who don't want to participate "don't have to do it." He told the station he'll bring the issue before the school board.
- One grandparent told WTMJ off camera she supports the school's decision.
What did the principal have to say?
- This is principal Faith Lincicum's first year at Hillcrest Elementary, the station said.
- "The concerns over students wearing costumes were first raised just before the start of the school year," she told WTMJ in a statement, reiterating the reasons for the decision. "I opened the conversation with our Site Council (a team made up of teachers and parent/PTO representatives) and with our teacher leaders within the building."
What will replace Halloween costumes this year?
- On Oct. 31, the school will celebrate "Hat Day."
- "Students will be invited to wear a hat on the 31st as a fundraiser for Hurricane Relief," the newsletter to parents continued, WTMJ said. "Any student is welcome to wear a school appropriate hat on the 31st with a suggested donation of $2. All of these funds will be collected and donated to a Hurricane Relief organization to support kids and families who have been affected by hurricanes from earlier this month. We are excited to see how much money we can raise! Any hat will work ... you can even create your own!"
TheBlaze reported earlier this month that Mitchell Elementary School in Needham, Massachusetts, canceled its traditional Halloween classroom parties and costume parade in order to foster inclusiveness.
(H/T: Todd Starnes)