BURLINGTON, Vt. (CBS Local) — There will be no costumes, capes or candy in Burlington, Vermont, classrooms this year. The school district has canceled all classroom Halloween celebrations.
School district officials say some students don’t participate in Halloween events because their families do not celebrate the holiday.
“It’s not that we are teaching that Halloween is a bad thing,” Miriam Ehtesham-Cating, the district’s director of programs, told CBS affiliate WCAX. “We’re reflecting on our practices that we believe every celebration held in school should be fully inclusive.”
Officials say the holiday traditions also make some students feel uncomfortable.
“For example, many people are made uncomfortable by the notion that you change your identity, you turn into someone else and those somebody else’s could represent cultural appropriations,” Ehtesham-Cating said.
Burlington’s cancellation of Halloween activities during school hours has generated a lot of traffic on WCAX’s Facebook page, with more than 1,300 comments and 800 reactions, some heavily opposing the School district’s decision.
The station’s online poll, taken Friday afternoon, found 84 percent of respondents believe Halloween should be celebrated in schools while 16 percent believe it should not.
“In terms of the schools, I think it’s mixed,” said Nicole S. of Burlington. “You can see why people wouldn’t want it in the school day, but I can see how a lot of people miss it.”
Others say the cancellation won’t stop families from enjoying the holiday.
“I feel like we have enough other Halloween events that we go to that we could find something else that we could partake in,” said Megan Malger of Burlington. “I’m not offended at the fact that it’s not gonna happen.”