Opponents of the stance of religious groups cry out, "Separation of church and state!" So tell me why the teachers (state) forced our children (church) to participate in something against our beliefs. Where's the separation in that? I say we boil it down to respect. We respect the schools' decision on whether or not they celebrate Halloween, but schools need to respect the students who opt out.
But the debate about schools and Halloween isn't just religious. It's not just Ann Foley from John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Somerville, Mass. There are schools that are banned costumes, schools that stopped having the parade, and schools that replaced candies with healthy alternatives. And there are so many reasons: health, distraction, safety, student exclusion, cultural awareness*, and even as an attempt to stop the teasing on students who don't dress up.
Parents are saying the schools are being too politically correct. Were they too politically correct by replacing the use of "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" and replacing Christmas carols with more inclusive holiday songs? This time, the schools have reasons beyond separation of church and state. But people can't seem to see that. We hear "separation of church and state" and think that religious beliefs should not impose on public school students. But shouldn't it also be vice versa? Public schools shouldn't impose on the students' religious beliefs (and it's not just the Christian religion mind you).
Sock it all. School should be school.
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