Skokie school bans Halloween celebrations

October 29, 2012

Tricia Bobeda

Students in District 69, which serves Skokie and Morton Grove, will not be allowed to celebrate Halloween in school this year.

No costumes. No candy. No Halloween parties.

That’s the new rule in District 69, which serves students in the Northern suburbs of Skokie and Morton Grove.

Superintendent Quintin Shepherd announced the policy change in a letter to parents.

Shepherd said in the letter that Halloween festivities were canceled to respect a growing number of students who cannot afford costumes or don’t celebrate Halloween for religious and cultural reasons.

Shaun Saville is the parent of a fourth grader in District 69.

“We were disappointed that Halloween was being cancelled and the way we were being told were weren’t very happy about,” Saville said. “I think two hours out of a school day  is not a significant amount of time when kids are going to be focusing on Halloween festivities anyway.”

Saville gathered more than four hundred and fifty signatures on a petition protesting the ban on the school’s Halloween celebrations and took it to a recent school board meeting.

“I think  it’s a good chance for kids to be creative,” Saville said. “Maybe make it a learning opportunity about different cultures and diversity at our school.”

But the school board has upheld the superintendent’s decision to cut Halloween parties from the school day.

The district did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.