School Cancels Halloween Parade Because It's Not 'Inclusive' Enough

Children march in school Halloween Parade (AP Photo/Casper Star-Tribune, Dan Cepeda)

An elementary school in Massachusetts canceled its annual Halloween parade this year out of concern that it was not “inclusive” enough. The school will instead host a “spirit day” on Halloween on which the kiddies will be allowed to wear orange and black — oh joy.

The principal of Boyden Elementary in Walpole, Mass., explained the school’s reasoning in a letter to parents:

“The costume parade is out of our ordinary routine and can be difficult for many students,” the school said. “Also, the parade is not inclusive of all the students and it is our goal each and every day to ensure all students’ individual differences are respected.”

Wow… an activity where children dress up in outlandish outfits of their own choosing and parade around is out of their “normal routine”? Geez, I certainly hope so! That’s what makes it so fun! Some kids get really creative and plan their outfits weeks ahead of time. Now they are limited to wearing orange and black. The fun quotient in that is approximately zero percent. The school has managed to strip all the fun out of many kids’ favorite holiday.

Here’s what you do with the (extremely small minority of) children who aren’t comfortable with dressing up — you don’t force them to participate. Let them stay home that day if they want to. As for the inclusivity issue, exactly what is the problem? The school itself sets costume guidelines  — if they are not “inclusive” enough, maybe they should change the guidelines.

What is this really about? Does little Johnny want to dress up like Prima Ballerina and is afraid of getting teased?

I was a room parent during a 4th grade Halloween party one year in which a boy dressed up like Pocahontas. Yeah, it was weird, but nobody said a thing and everyone had a great time. You don’t cancel Halloween because of one or two oddball kids.

Walpole residents are understandably puzzled by the decision.

“That’s the part that especially the parents and the students are having a hard time understanding,” parent Julie Lowre told news station WFXT. “We have numerous events not all-inclusive, so if you cancel one event you have to cancel them all.”

“I think it’s a lot of political correctness,” a Walpole woman said. “I think it’s a shame because Halloween is the funnest day of the year next to Christmas for children.”

“We have grandkids going to Boyden School. Wonderful school,” a grandmother of a student said. “The Halloween party should happen on Friday cause all the kids are excited.”

“Put a costume on. Parade down the street. Let them have their little time,” a Walpole man said. “Why do you have to turn it into something political?”