Some schools in northern Chicago suburbs have decided to “move away” from Halloween celebrations as part of an effort aimed at being more inclusive, a school district said.
Evanston/Skokie School District 65 wrote in a message to parents “while we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by everyone for various reasons and we want to honor that.”
“We are also aware of the range of inequities that are embedded in Halloween celebrations that take place as part of the school day and the unintended negative impact that it can have on students, families, and staff,” the message read.
That’s why the district said supports schools “that are moving away from Halloween celebrations” including costumes and other traditions.
“We are confident those who are choosing to move away from the traditional Halloween celebrations will find new and engaging ways to build community within their schools,” the statement read.
Lincoln Elementary School is one of the schools ending Halloween traditions during the school day, a move that has upset many parents.
"I think with Halloween, at least in modern times, it’s not necessarily a religious holiday so I don’t see it favoring one group or another," said Jeanne Barclay, whose child attends a District 65 school.
Still, some parents said they don't mind the decision.
"These kids have a lot of chances to do candy, I love trick or treating, but they don’t need to do it in school," said Janis Michael, whose grandchild attends Lincoln Elementary.
It remains unclear if any other schools in the district also plan to "cancel" Halloween events. Blocks away, at Washington Elementary, an in-school Halloween party remains planned.