An elementary school in New Jersey announced plans to cancel their Halloween celebration due to a large number of students who had to opt out because of their religious objections. Now, the school has decided to reinstate the celebration.
Early last week, Principal Mark Quiles at Seth Boyden Elementary School in Maplewood, New Jersey, sent a letter home with students saying that the administration had made the decision to cancel the annual Halloween celebration due to a significant number of students who could not take part in it.
“We have a very diverse school district,” said district spokeswoman Suzanne Turner. “Every year, we have students who opt out of the [Halloween celebration] and the principal felt that number was significant enough.”
As the Huffington Post reports, many Christians object to Halloween because they see it as a Pagan celebration.
One day after parents received the initial letter informing them of the cancellation, they received another letter from Superintendent James Memoli telling them that the celebration was back on.
“The issue regarding whether or not we celebrate Halloween transcends one district school, and deserves a broader discussion,” Memoli wrote in the letter. “Given how close we are to Halloween, we do not have time to engage in this District-wide discussion without disrupting plans that are already in place in other school[s].
“We respect that each student and family has the right to choose whether or not to participate in the Halloween celebrations, and as always, alternate activities will be provided for students who will not be participating due to religious or other objections,” continued Memoli in the note.
Reports say that the initial decision to cancel the Halloween celebration was met with both support and criticism by community members.