Halloween canceled by Lansdale elementary school principal

Credit: Wiki Commons
Credit: Wiki Commons

Orlando Taylor might as well have handed out pennies on Halloween night.

The principal of Inglewood Elementary School in Montgomery County sent a letter to parents Tuesday that announced the cancelation of school-sponsored Halloween activities – parties, parades, costume dress-downs – because the holiday’s supposed religious overtones might offend some students.

“Some holidays, like Halloween, that some see as secular, are viewed by others as having religious overtones,” Taylor wrote in the letter obtained by Metro. “The district must always be mindful of the sensitivity of all the members of the community with regard to holidays and celebrations of a religious, cultural or secular nature.”

But then Wednesday, the North Penn School District, which governs the Lansdale-based school, posted a statement on its website claiming the principal went too far.

“The. … letter addressing Halloween is not an accurate representation of the school district’s administrative regulation,” the statement said.

However, the district-wide religious and cultural holiday policy, set in motion last Spring, still restricts holiday or cultural celebrations.

So this year students will not receive a half-day in the district’s K-6 schools; kids won’t parade around the block in their costumes; no post-parade party with games and book readings.

Changes to the policy allow Halloween parades to be held before or after school on the holiday. And the schools have designated other days for fall or Halloween-related activities.

Jenn Brigidi, who has a 10-year-old daughter and the 8-year-old boy at North Wales, said this is a result of a threatened lawsuit.

“The school board caved to one party that threatened litigation, and rather than standing up or asking the public for which they work for – what is your opinion, how do you think we should proceed – they merely caved into the view that are telling the majority what to do,” Brigidi said.

“And for whatever reason it upset somebody,” she continued. “From what I understand there were kids who had to go to the principal’s office and that’s where they had to sit while the parade was occurring because their parent’s decided to speak up and said their kids need to be baby sat while the parade is going on.”

School district spokeswoman Madeline Bergman said “There hasn’t been any litigation.”

“There can be religious undertones to holidays,” Brigidi said. “I think that religions have taken the time to find a way to bond to holidays.”

But Halloween, she said, is a “community tradition.”

“Regardless,” Jenn said, “They took the holiday away from the kids.”

____________________

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.