What kind of principal cancels Halloween because 20% of the kids stayed home last year? What about the 80% who came to school and celebrated Halloween? Seems like Principal Mark Quiles needs to get over himself and focus more on what really matters to the 100%.....QUALITY EDUCATION.
He's making a fool of himself, the school, the BOE and the town. It's an embarrassment.
*sigh* I know I'm going to regret this, but when does Halloween have anything to do with education? Wouldn't we rather see those 20% in school?
Can someone explain what the "diversity" concern is with Halloween? If kids don't want to wear a costume, so what? Does anyone force you to wear Green on St Pattys day or red on Valentine's Day
There are some religious objections. Certain fundamentalist groups consider Halloween to be "devil worship" why? I have no idea, but that is why some parents won't let their children participate
20% did not participate in the Halloween parade last year which included students who do celebrate Halloween outside school but chose to participate in other activities with their friends who do not. We don't know the percentage that did not come to school and I suspect it is far less than 20%.
I've always enjoyed Halloween - as a kid, as a parent. I like seeing the decorations, going to the parade, handing out candy. It's great. I don't know what the solution is, but 20% - one out of five - is a pretty sizable number. If it's true that one out of five students are against a situation that can be avoided or changed, I don't blame the principal for trying to change that situation, particularly when that situation is not protected by law. And he is correct, there are ample opportunities for students to celebrate Halloween outside of school.
It doesn't seem that he is "cancelling Halloween" but doing what he can to have 100% attendance on/near Oct. 31. Can't say I blame him. Seems like a no-win situation.
bdk23 said:Seems like Principal Mark Quiles needs to get over himself
Village Green -- which quoted the part of the letter that said "after careful consideration and deliberation, we have decided" -- reported that "we" includes the co-presidents of the PTA, who also signed the letter.
OK, so three of them. In any case, I recall the BOE or the Super (correctly IMO) shot them down last year and were to review the policy. Whatever happened with that
This seems to be an issue that is all about SB. There doesn't seem the type of pushback at other schools, but for whatever reason SB has had this issue at least since my child was there and she's in college now.
What we did was have kids and parents in costume did the parade. Kids whose parents objectedsat in the. Library and read. The issue was not separating the kids per parent request, but that many of the students whose parents told them "no" wanted to participate.
They were unable to because a permission slip was sent out asking you to choose if your child could or could not participate.
This was oner 10 years ago, and it seems to be the Same process.
We did one year at the Annex and there were no objections and the parade went on.
ctrzaska said:OK, so three of them. In any case, I recall the BOE or the Super (correctly IMO) shot them down last year and were to review the policy. Whatever happened with that
It sounds like what happened with the parade being called back 'on' by the Supt last year was many parents kept their kids at home due to that parade, and other kids wanted to support their friends who might have felt left out due to a religious reason. A religious reason that is out of the child's control, and may not be fully comprehended at that age.
The problem would be the BOE would be creating a district wide policy of eliminating Halloween celebrations, because a large minority objects to Hallloween.
The othér elementary and middle schools do not have similarly large parent populations advocating to stop Halloween.
Why not just keep things as they are... Since SB students are more likely not to want a Halloween parade, just cancel it there. Every other school can continue with their parades and parties
The problem is most SB students do want the parade and another issue is that most do not get to opt out to another school if they don't like the policies in place there.
shanabasha said:The problem is most SB students do want the parade and another issue is that most do not get to opt out to another school if they don't like the policies in place there.
The fact that SB-zoned students are the only elementary school students who aren't eligible to opt into another school is, I think, a bigger issue than the Halloween parade. Although the parade issue seems to be one way of illuminating this disparity.
ctrzaska said:OK, so three of them.
If the principal and parent reps at my child's school were in agreement on an issue as tertiary as this one, the mat would have to come to me.
I doubt most of the opt in students will opt out because of a parade, that despite what their parents want....the kids want to go. It's one of those examples of how each school has a different culture.
A cancelled Halloween parade is not the end of the world for elementary kids, but it's also pretty uncommon. as Mr Quiles noted, the parade is not even on Halloween, and kids who celebrate have options to do so.
The only issue I would have is that for 90% of kids celebrating, there is no religion attached. For the objectors, should their religious objection to a non religious holiday dictate that everybody else should not be able to participate in a secular holiday
Thanksgiving (Erntedankfest) is associated with Christianity and is at least on par with Halloween in terms of religious associations. I wonder if the fools cancelling Halloween will be consistent with their idiocy and ban turkey images.
campbell29 said: For the objectors, should their religious objection to a non religious holiday dictate that everybody else should not be able to participate in a secular holiday
For the religious objectors Halloween IS a religious holiday. They don't see it as an innocuous day of costumes and candy. Frankly, given its insignificance (except to the candy and costume peddlers and our kids' dentists) I would be perfectly happy for our schools not to devote any of their precious time "celebrating" it.
DaveSchmidt said: ctrzaska said:OK, so three of them. If the principal and parent reps at my child's school were in agreement on an issue as tertiary as this one, the mat would have to come to me.
Never been a fan of oligarchies, to be honest.
Except that it is a cultural mainstay of this area, and that most children do not interpret it as a religios holiday..?Like St Patrick's Day. The holiday is neither sigificant religiously to most participants, nor would most non observers attach religious meaning to kids tra ling the street looking for candy. My parents did it, it's not some surprise foisted on the devout at the last minute
If it offends you, don't bring a costume, sit in the library
We found that kids who were meant to be sitting were exercising their free expression and parading with their classmeets
dave said:Thanksgiving (Erntedankfest) is associated with Christianity and is at least on par with Halloween in terms of religious associations. I wonder if the fools cancelling Halloween will be consistent with their idiocy and ban turkey images.
Hand tracings will be next if SB is planning on being consistent, clearly. Personally I think the students should be assigned The Golden Bough to read at home (abridged, of course), and the parents could write an essay on the tradition of their choice and share it with the classes. Better yet, in lieu of a traditional and innocuous national elementary school celebration, Quiles could come in dressed as the Fisher King and sit by the parents in the withered butterfly garden (presuming there's no storm runoff nearby), reading to the children while the PTA heads ponder this year's harvest
Anyhoo, in our desire to be as inclusive and respectful as possible via the knee-jerk eradication of tradition, what's the required minimum benchmark for appeasing the offended minority? Clearly 20% lies at or above the line, but how's about 10%? 5%? So confusing.
campbell29 said:If it offends you, don't bring a costume, sit in the libraryWe found that kids who were meant to be sitting were exercising their free expression and parading with their classmeets
I'm going to guess there's a bit of ambien here, and you're not actually advocating for a school to provide the incentive and the means for a young child to directly disobey their parents wishes?
And for the school to be ignoring the permission slips that correspond to the parent's wishes... in writing?
one of the great things about out township is its diversity. Part of that is the learning experiences associated with being exposed to different viewpoints, cultures and religions. Cancelling Halloween seems the antithesis of celebrating our diversity.
Suppose 20% of the students were observant Orthodox Jews and were not allowed to eat meat with dairy, so milk, butter, cheese , yogurt and other dairy products were removed from the school lunch room.
Suppose 20% of the students were part of a religious sect that believed that the color red was representative of the devil and devil worship. So because 20% of the students were not allowed to wear red, and were offended by it, no one in the school was allowed to wear red either.
Suppose 20% of the families had a religious objection to the inclusion of sex education in school and opted to keep their children at home when those classes were being taught.
Suppose 20% of the families had a religious objection to the observance of thanksgiving in school - so the principal and PTA heads with the approval of the superintendent removed any mention or observance of Thanksgiving at that one school.
Suppose the elementary schools had access to swimming and swimming was a choice for the Phys ed curriculum, but 20% of the families in a school had a religious objection to their daughters wearing the proscribed bathing suits so the principal removed swimming from the curriculum.
Suppose there was a book that was part of the 5th grade curriculum, but 20% of the families had a religious objection to what was in the book. There are 100s of appropriate books that could be included - so the book was eliminated.
Suppose 20% of the students observed Ramadan and were not allowed to eat or drink during the day for one month of the year. Do you eliminate school lunch for that period.
To me diversity and freedom of religion is being allowed to observe and practice in ways that you see fit. And that observance and practice is respected by others. Of course, no one's religious practices should be forced on anyone else. But that is what happened when they removed Halloween.
Halloween IS NOT a religious practice. It is a cultural practice with a long tradition. Just because there are people who have religious objections to that practice does not make it a religious practice. No secular part of the school curriculum, or of school life - academic or otherwise should be eliminated because of religious objections of anyone.
By eliminating the Halloween parade, the principal is imposing on the community the religious objections by a few to a secular, tradition celebration. I find that deeply objectionable.
First off, it is not our place to tell people what is or isn't against their religion. It may be secular to you but others don't see it that way. You can agree or disagree about it's religious ness but you can't tell people how to feel. Religion is also not the only reason some kids don't participate. Secondly, we as a community made this decision. It's not an us vs. them decision. It's absolutely not a 20% vs. 80% thing that everyone above keeps referring to. These are not simply "20%", these are children, our children, with names and feelings. Over 100 of them. These are OUR community members. No one demanded the parade not take place. It simply made no sense to run an OPTIONAL activity that 1 out of 5 students couldn't participate in. It just doesn't make sense for OUR school. Dr Ramos has already stated it can be a school by school decision. If a parade works for your school, by all means continue to have one.
By the way, with the examples above like banning books, if wearing a costume for an hour one day a year was an essential part of a child's educational experience I would fight tooth and nail to keep it. But the fact is, it simply isn't.
There is a difference between learning about the customs associated with another religion and being expected to partake in the ritual associated with that religion. What seems harmless to some who regard Halloween as part of our dominant nonsectarian culture may be viewed by others as being a practice contrary to their own religious beliefs. I can understand why some families may be opposed to having such practices part of the public school curriculum.
Halloween is a contraction for All Hallow's Eve, which is most certainly a religious holiday in some of the cultures which comprise the diverse Maplewood/South Orange community. Even though some of those who do not celebrate Halloween as a religious holiday embrace the cultural aspects of parading in costume, telling scary stories, and eating far too much candy, there are others who see this as a religious holiday they do not want their children to observe in any form. Others have the same objection to their children being expected to sing Christmas songs in school, even when the songs themselves have no obvious religious content.
Sending some children to the library to read while others are invited to participate in what amounts to a party can be seen by the children of opting out parents as a form of punishment and exclusion. A better approach, should a Halloween parade still be held, might be to offer the children two equally attractive activities to choose from, one of which is a Halloween parade and the other of which is an equally enjoyable activity with no association with any religious practice.
Wow. Halloween controversy. Didn't see that one coming.
First of all, this year Halloween is on SATURDAY! Second of all, why don't they just save the parade for the end of the day, and those that don't want to participate can go home at 2pm. My daughter hated halloween (afraid of scary costumes), so I would just pick her up after lunch. No need to miss all of school.
Halloween is the ritual starting time of commercial establishments playing Christmas music.
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