“How Can We Make the Country Even More Fake and Gay”: School District Cancels Halloween in The Name of Diversity and Inclusion

This year, South Orange-Maplewood schools have decided against hosting Halloween celebrations in the classrooms and the internet is having a field-day with this one.

The letter sent to the parents

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A letter sent to parents from district officials explained the reason behind this move: to promote the district’s dedication to equity and inclusion among students.

All students should be able to join in festivities

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District spokesman Paul Brubaker said in a statement to News 12 New Jersey, “The district’s change in practices helps ensure that all students and families are able to join together in celebrating the fall season with harvest festivals and other activities.”

Mixed emotions from parents

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However, this decision was met with mixed reactions from parents. Leslie Springer, who has three children attending South Orange-Maplewood schools, expressed understanding towards the district’s concerns but also conveyed her mixed emotions.

Halloween was fun for the kids

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She said, “As a parent, I really enjoyed, at the elementary school level, the kids would do a parade, and we would get to see them in costumes. So, that was really fun,” she says.

Donations might be the way

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Another parent, Catherine Porter, whose children graduated from the district, suggested potential alternatives to entirely canceling the celebrations. She proposed that perhaps those students who want to but can’t afford to dress up for Halloween might benefit from a costume donation system.

New Jersey Governor speaks out

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News of the canceled Halloween celebrations reached New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who criticized the move on X, previously known as Twitter. He said, “Seriously? We can’t let kids celebrate Halloween? Give me a break.”

The decision was made to foster inclusion

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However, Superintendent Ronald Taylor is standing firm on the decision, stating, “I know this may make some uncomfortable and elicit some challenges across our community. However, in the end, I feel these recommendations align with SOMSD’s commitment to building equity, fostering inclusion, and building a sense of belonging throughout our schools.”

People reacted to the news

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One person couldn’t believe it, saying, “Cancel culture at its finest! Is Halloween is somehow offensive now. SMH. We haven’t learned yet from a generation raised on cancel culture and trophies for all.”

The kids should be allowed to have fun

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Another person agreed: “I bet they are going to remove Touchdowns in Football because it doesn’t allow the Defense to feel included in the celebration. Let the kids have some fun on October 31st.

Woke Nation

One sarcastic reader joked, “How can we make the country even more fake and gay” South Orange Maplewood School District: we got you.”

Don’t penalize everyone

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Another person understood the issue, and noted, “It has to do with the lack of resources for some families who can’t afford to partake in the celebrations during school. So they decide to penalize the entire student body? Maybe, instead of getting rid of it they should be working toward helping those families partake.”

Say goodbye to the good old days

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Some people compared the new rules with Marxism, stating, “Gone are the days of Old America where tradition will be forgotten for inclusions and equity amongst the people from all social classes. This is how Marxism will rise up, replacing old ways with new or lost ways.”

Some agreed

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Not all people were appalled by SOMSD’s decision: “I agree with this cancellation. Better for the Christians in the school so they aren’t part of the demonic holiday. (Maybe a bit of reverse psychology might have them bring it back. If they think it’s good not to have it for Christians, they’ll bring it back again.”

This is not unusual

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Some people noted that removing Halloween traditions from school wasn’t necessarily a new thing, saying, “Growing up, we had Halloween at school but my kids never did. They were never allowed to wear costumes at school. They are seniors now. Even my oldest wasn’t allowed and she is 25. I thought all schools did away with this years ago.”

It’s not helpful

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Another person commented, “I know this is supposed to be helpful but it’s not. Children who don’t have costumes likely aren’t celebrating outside of school. School *is* their chance to celebrate Halloween. This town has more than enough resources to get these children in costumes.”

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