Parents Upset After School Cancels Halloween - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Parents Upset After School Cancels Halloween

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LANSDALE, Pa. -

Halloween is a time for kids to play dress up and use their imagination to the fullest; it's fun for them on Halloween night and at school.

One principal isn't letting the kids enjoy festivities, and that has some parents upset.

No Iron Man, Power Rangers or Superman. Perhaps the only time of the year you can wear a costume to class is canceled for one elementary school.

Many parents with kids at Inglewood Elementary School in Towamencin like Jodie Biegert are angry over a letter written by the principal.

We got our hands on it. The subject line," No Halloween Parade Or Celebrations."

The letter says some people consider holidays like Halloween secular while others say they have religious overtones.

"I'm very upset. I think the kids are missing out," Biegert said.

"I think it's ridiculous. I don't think you can speak to one child in this district and ask them what Halloween is about and they would cite religious backing to that," Tom Flanegan of Towamencin said.

The letter goes on to say, "The school district's policy directs all North Penn Schools to not sponsor or support celebration of Halloween parades, Halloween parties or dressing in Halloween costumes."

In response to the principal's message, The North Penn School District issued this statement:

"The Inglewood Elementary School letter addressing Halloween is not an accurate representation of the school district's administrative regulation (Regulation 6119 below). Schools are permitted to have Halloween parties in their classrooms during the school day and school-wide activities such as parades are permitted before and after the school day. In fact Inglewood Elementary school will hold such a Fall Festival, with Halloween costume and activities, on the evening of October 18th. Halloween and fall related activities being held at NPSD's 18 schools include a Halloween dance, fall festivals, harvest festivals, trick or treating and more.

The regulation, which pertains to all holidays and cultural observations not just Halloween, was studied and reviewed by staff, parents and the Educational/Community/Policy Committee of the North Penn School District Board of School Directors before the changes were made this past spring. The administrative regulation is designed to preserve the greatest amount of instructional time possible for our students. As academic rigor increases for students and as state and federal expectations rise, we must continue to focus our time and resources on student achievement.

The regulation also provides guidelines on how cultural observances and religions are to be addressed instructionally during the school day. One of NPSD's educational goals is to advance students' knowledge and appreciation of the roles that religious and cultural heritage have played in the social historical development of our civilization. NPSD complies with the US Supreme Court ruling that school districts may not endorse, prefer, favor, promote or advance any religious beliefs."

A district spokesperson tells us the new regulations for building wide celebrations come from demands for academic achievement.

"If you take the fun away, the learning isn't as strong," Biegert said.

The district says there will be a fall festival after school where kids can wear their costumes on October 18.

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