NIANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been a tradition for years. Students even parents dressing up for Halloween. But this year no costumes allowed.
The announcement came in a letter from Lillie B. Haynes School Principal Melissa DeLoreto. Safety and exclusion of students are two of the main reasons the Halloween parade and the wearing of costumes to school are being eliminated.
“I thought at first hey that’s kind of sad,” says Rebecca Haynes who has two kids who went through the Niantic school and a seven year old who goes there now. “My kids have enjoyed it in the past but realizing you know that decisions need to be made.”
The letter cites safety concerns “… the number of adults who attend this event, some in costumes, pose a potential safety threat.” and says “We believe school day activities must be inclusive for all students… ”
Rebecca Haynes doesn’t want anyone to feel excluded but believes it could be a learning experience.
“It’s a chance for kids that might not participate in certain holidays or certain celebrations to really just be happy for the kids that do celebrate those holidays,” says Haynes.
There will still be celebrations at the school but they will be fall themed.
“It’s too bad that things become politicized and that the kids do miss out,” says Lori Dvorak. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a costume. Just takes some creativity.”
Perhaps though a seven year old best puts it in perspective.
“At first she said ohhh and then she said what’s for dinner?” says Haynes. “So she’s still going to trick or treat in our neighborhood, she’s going to go to the parade downtown, and she’s going to move on and everything’s going to be great.”
News8 has been told Lillie B Haynes was the only school in town to still hold a Halloween parade.