The good people of Milford Connecticut are all up in arms over a decision by their local public school district this year to cancel the annual Halloween costume festivities and parade in the schools. The district doesn’t want to “alienate” a minority of students who might be offended by the celebrations.
“Milford Public Schools do have many children from diverse beliefs, cultures and religions,” explained Jim Richetelli, chief operations officer for the district. “The goal is for all children to feel comfortable and definitely not alienated when they come to school.”
The angry majority of townspeople have circulated a petition to “Bring back our AMERICAN traditions to our schools!” “Our children should not miss out on our traditional activities due to people crying they’re offended, reads the petition. “Tell me how children smiling dressing up as a cartoon character, a doctor, a super hero is offensive?”
“I don’t think we’re excluding anybody. I think they’re excluding themselves,” whined one disgruntled mother of a third grader. She, like most others in the majority think that they should be permitted without any question to use the public schools as places in which to celebrate whatever so-called “American traditions” they like, and if some minority of parents and students don’t like it they can simply exclude themselves.
Lost in all of this silly controversy is the question of why do some people think that public schools have any obligation much less the right to decide what cultural “American traditions” should be celebrated in the classrooms and exactly how they ought to be celebrated.
Public schools are not places where the government has the right to compel children to attend five days per week so that it can teach them personal cultural values. The kids are in school to learn how to read, write and reckon – not wasting their time being indoctrinated as to what to think about and how to celebrate Halloween, Christmas, Good Friday, and Valentine’s Day.
Surely, the parents of children who want to celebrate Halloween can wait until after school to dress their smiling little urchins up as cartoon characters, witches, goblins and superhero’s before sending them out into the night to trick or treat for candy. Surely they can organize their own Halloween parties and amusement activities privately.
Surely, no child has to miss out on such traditional American activities if they want to participate. Why then is it necessary for the public schools to get involved? Why not let the people simply decide privately what “American traditions” to celebrate.
There is obviously no good reason for Public school Halloween Horrors.