New Jersey

New Jersey Elementary School Cancels Halloween Parade, Cites Inclusion Concerns

For years, the students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Morristown, New Jersey, have dressed up and participated in a parade outside the school every Halloween. But the school is canceling the parade this year, and some people are scratching their heads.

The school principal sent home a note to parents this week informing them the parade would be canceled because it's not inclusive enough. 

The letter reads in part, "We recognize that since many of our students do not celebrate Halloween, they are unable to participate in a Halloween parade. After feedback from staff and students, we have decided an alternative activity to the Halloween parade: The Classroom Escape." 

The principal goes on to explain that nearly a quarter of students at the school don't celebrate Halloween, and children are still allowed to wear costumes to school. 

But some students and parents say they're disappointed to lose the tradition. They say principal Cristina Frazzano asked them not to talk to media about their concerns, but other parents in town say they see both sides. Stephanie Adanes said she has family members who don't celebrate for religious reasons -- but doubts they would feel left out of Halloween festivities. 

"Their parents make them understand there's people who celebrate and people who don't," she said. 

"I know a lot of people who don't celebrate Halloween so I understand why," said Adanes. "It's just like Christmas and Hanukkah, they don't really celebrate it in the school 'cause a lot of kids get left out. But I don't know, Halloween... it's an innocent holiday." 

Attempts to reach the Morris County School District and the school for comment were not successful. 

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