Halloween concerns discussed at Newington school board meeting

Newington Board of Education members discuss Halloween costume parades in their schools. (Photo: WTNH)

NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– The passion of some Newington parents was on full display at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting as the public was given a chance to weigh in on their system’s Halloween policies.

“I can assure you that as a full-time working mother of a six- and a three-year-old, I do not have that much time on my hands, but I am here tonight because I feel very strongly about this issue,” said Newington parent Karen Peterson.

ORIGINAL STORY: Newington parents upset schools cancel Halloween

It was just days ago parents say the principals the Ruth Chaffee and Anna Reynolds elementary schools sent out a letter stating that because Halloween isn’t celebrated by everyone, it would no longer have a place at their schools. But at the meeting, board members and school officials worked to clarify that position.

“Nobody ever cancelled Halloween,” said Superintendent William Collins. “There was some miscommunication from one of our principals who inadvertently used the word cancelled and Halloween together.”

But how things had been done in the past are changing. The annual Halloween parades will no longer take place, and students at any Newington school will not be allowed to wear costumes during the day. The reasons that were given for the move include children who do not celebrate the holiday, those who do not have costumes, and kids who get scared.

RELATED CONTENT: Threats made after Newington schools cancel Halloween parades

The situation has received national attention and Mr. Collins tells News 8 he has received threats from as far away as Washington state from people saying things that include, “I wish you would die.” He adds he police have been notified and security will be increased Friday.

A “Storybook parade,” in which kids dress up as their favorite character from literature, had already been in the works before the Halloween letters went to parents and is planned to go on as scheduled. Halloween activities that take place outside of school hours will still be allowed as well.

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