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Newington schools cancel Halloween parties

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NEWINGTON-- Ghosts and goblins won't be wandering the halls of  Newington elementary schools this month.

Halloween celebrations will now not take place in any of the town's four elementary schools.

Principals from Ruth Chaffee and  Anna Reynolds School sent letters to parents because of concerns that they exclude children whose families don't celebrate the holiday.

"We want to make sure we're inclusive of all kids," Anna Reynolds Principal Jeremy Visone said. "The best way to do that was not to celebrate the holiday."

Both elementary schools held annual Halloween parades for it's kindergarten and first grade students.

The decision angered many parents.

"I think it's integral to the psyche to the children to have that," said Eric Jones, a parent with two children attending Ruth Chaffee School.

The town's other two elementary schools, John Paterson and Elizabeth Green, don't hold Halloween parades or parties, having stopped a number of years ago.

School officials wanted to have all four elementary schools have consistent policies.

"Everyone's politically correct now and you don't want to insult anyone's denomination or religion," Jones said.

Certain religious groups don't celebrate Halloween, but it's unclear whether the school system made the change with religion in-mind.

"I think it's ridiculous. I don' find it to be a big religious thing,   the kids just get together with their costumes and have fun. It's not like they talk about much, it's just a day to have fun at school," said Denise Perez, a parent of a student at Ruth  Chaffee School.

In place of the Halloween parade, a "Fall Festival" will be held at both schools.

Parents say the celebration will allow kids to "dress up" but only in costumes as their favorite literary characters.

Fox Connecticut contacted the Dr. William Collins, Superintendent of the  Newington School system, but our calls weren't returned.


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  • J.G.

    I think it’s absolutely insane not to celebrate Halloween. I guess it’s time to stop celebrating EVERYTHING. Not everyone believes the same thing so that should mean that every holiday should be off the books, off the calender. No days off from school for ANY HOLIDAY. This world has gone mad and I am so sick of it.

    • RedGirl

      Isn’t it amazing? We can’t “offend anyone”. I was one of three Jewish kids in my high school in Cromwell. I’ve heard it all – jokes and them some not so nice comments. I can tell you, it gave me a thick skin. These parents that don’t want their kids to be included are nothing but selfish. And by Dr. Collins cancelling an innocent Halloween parade, he is just giving into their selfishness. How is that fair?!

  • J.G.

    I think all the other parents should keep their kids home on that day & have a Halloween parade & party at someones home, rec center or somewhere that they can assemble !!

  • robert c. havens

    The principal of Anna Reynolds school states his school wants to be inclusive of all students. My question then is why is he excluding all of the students who want to celebrate Halloween at his school? It is sad when children, who have no say, are used as pawns by school administrators following either their own, or a few others beliefs. The day of independent, strong leaders, who are willing to take a stand, and take the heat for making unpopular decisions, sadly is a lost quality in our society.

  • Jack

    Y’know, these “educators” seem to know what’s best for all children. Maybe they are clinging to phobias of their youth? What is more traumatizing? Being told you can’t be like the others…..making you different……or being scared and particpating?
    Dressed as your favorite book character? Frankenstein, Humpback of Notre Dame, Headless Horseman….I hope some parent pushes the envelope…..I would!!!!!!!!! Probably Puff the Magic Dragon would win First Prize with this bunch.

  • Tron petersen

    Dr. Collins is a coward and using the media and extremists as his scapegoat. He needs to step up to the plate and fix this or step down and leave his position. He is a disgrace to newington and to America.

  • AndrevKaminsky

    An excuse to get together with friends at a dress up party, decorate your house and eat themed food like a kids birthday party coupled with some people dressing provocatively at adult parties. The WORST.

    This article (and no doubt most of the comments to come): I’m not a killjoy but…

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