South Orange-Maplewood schools ‘ghost’ Halloween celebrations this year

The Halloween spirit is not invited into the classrooms at South Orange-Maplewood schools this year.
District officials sent out a letter to parents earlier this week explaining why they will not be allowing in-class Halloween festivities. Officials said that doing away with costumes in school would further the district’s commitment to equity and inclusion among students.
“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,” said district spokesman Paul Brubaker in a statement to News 12 New Jersey.
Not all parents said they agreed with the new policy.
Leslie Springer, a mom of three South Orange-Maplewood students, said that she understands the concern, but she has mixed feelings about the policy because she has fond memories of school Halloween traditions.
"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.
Catherine Porter’s kids graduated from the district, and she said they loved the in-school Halloween celebrations. She believes there may be other ways to approach this problem.
"Maybe there are kids who would like to dress up for Halloween and can't, maybe people can pull some old costumes together and there could be a donation,” says Porter.
School officials said that schools can partner with PTAs and other organizations to hold events outside of school hours. Schools can also hold fall harvest festivals on or around Oct. 31 during school hours.