Upset About No Halloween Parties in School


DeKalb School Board,

pine_crest_school_students_wearing_halloween_costumes_in_fort_lauderdale_florida_105732786641I received a newsletter from my daughter’s 1st grade teacher saying that there won’t be Halloween parties this year. The frustration I feel for this removal is high: first the kids couldn’t bring treats for this birthday; then they couldn’t bring any tokens of affection for their birthday; and now they can’t have a Halloween party (and I assume Holiday or Spring party either).

At the least, why not rename it a “Fall Festival” or something similar and have costumes optional?? On further questioning, I was told that, in the interest of “social justice,” it’s a non-academic event, some can’t afford to participate, and some don’t celebrate Halloween. As for it being a non-academic event, I have had 2 children at Malta Elementary every year save one since 2008. There has been a Halloween party each year, so I don’t see why this year should be any different: what about this year makes the Halloween party being non-academic relevant? For those who can’t afford to participate with a costume, I can appreciate their situation. Therefore, I can see why students dressing up may not be an option. However, the party is donated by the PTO and parents. For those who cannot afford to contribute to the party, they should be exempt. I am willing to provide extra items to make up for those who are unable to provide supplies in my daughter’s class. I know other parents would be willing to do so as well. For those who don’t celebrate Halloween, and I assume it’s a vast minority at the school and district, they can have an extra recess or other play time during party time. Why don’t the parents who don’t want their children participating monitor this extra recess time? I don’t see why so many students should be disallowed a fun event at school. I have fond memories of Halloween parties when I was a child attending a Catholic grade school. I hate that my youngest child will miss out on those memories.

Thank you for your time, Jill Kimble

I sent this email to all members of the school board. If you’re a parent please to contact them about the lack of Halloween party, you’ll find their emails here:


  1. Those that wish to dress up and have fun,should be aloud to do so. Those that wish not to can be sent to the library. There are many ways to compromise. Life can be fair for all if you just use common sense and take the time to work out plans to please everyone. It really isn’t that hard to do!

  2. I also have fond memories of classroom parties. I’d be curious to hear how the teachers feel about this issue. Although this will likely be an unpopular response, I am inclined to believe reverting back to what worked for us as children may not be feasible. There is no question that classroom dynamics have vastly changed over the past decade. Teachers in dist428 struggle with larger class sizes, startling amounts of poverty/homeless children, language barriers, a lack of parental support, and many additional challenges, that were comparatively non-existent when our generation attended elementary school. Is there a way to respect the districts ruling on this subject while simultaneously keeping the spirit of classroom parties alive? I appreciate Jill’s suggestions, as well as her generosity, but sadly, signatures on her petition are unlikely to materialize when it comes to the footwork and logistics involved in carrying out these celebrations. I hope the PTO can work with DCTA, as well as the BOE to find a solution that aims to leave every child feeling happy, included, motivated, and eager to come to school.

    I must add: as a teacher, I have a hard time believing that the kids who opted-in to the party would truly enjoy themselves knowing that their peers who have opted-out are missing out on the fun. Young kids are surprisingly inclusive and creating a divide, as some here have suggested, would be less jovial than you would imagine.

  3. Why eliminate the party all together? Have everyone wear orange and black and, if the parents want, send the kids with something to hand out to their classmates (i.e. candy, pencils, etc.)
    Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A simple, fun party the teacher can handle by him/herself.
    It would still be fun, and maybe not point out the less fortunate as easily.

  4. This is absolutely ridiculous. Kids need to be kids. That’s what is wrong with our society. There is nothing fun for the kids to look forward too. If you don’t want your kids to participate that is your call but don’t punish the other kids. This rule should be at the discretion of all who are involved not make a rule based on just a hand full of people who let authority go to their head. There are to many authority figures out there telling us how to raise our children. You are dividing these children by making all of them behave based on another childs race, religion or culture. If you don’t want to participate then don’t but leave the ones who want to enjoy halloween, christmas, easter thanksgiving etc. alone. This makes me so angry. Are we living in a communist world?

  5. I already didn’t really want my daughter in a public school in DeKalb co. But things went downhill at her Montessori I had no choice. I love her teacher at Malta elementary but when I found all this out I was so let down. Like others said, I’m sure many would donate costumes, or materials to make them party, or title a Fall celebration. More and more I’m regretting this decision but have no other one at this point.

  6. I know one of the concerns the BOE was having, along with some of the teachers is that there aren’t any parents to facilitate the parties, provide for the parties, etc. So you would have one class enjoying themselves hootin and hollerin, while another class watches a movie and has a bowl of popcorn that the PTO leader has stashed in her trunk for these whoopsies of parties where there is no room parent, or the parent backed out/forgot.

  7. no instead kids are asked to lay their heads down on the table when done eating. Seen not heard. back to basics. besides it isn’t about being able to afford a costume. You can make a costume out of just about anything. Is it that the kids at this school don’t have parents that can spend ten minutes each day helping to create a costume out of a paper bag or scraps? Is that these kids don’t have parents? Are we trying to make it ok to be poor? Because I am sick of the poor getting all sorts of assistance while the working poor get nada and still have to cater to the “needy”

  8. There are other things a class can do without having a “party”. Take the time to do an art type activity that has to do with the fall festivities. Maybe an age appropriate story time that deals with the tradition for the fall season. You don’t need candy and costumes to celebrate and have fun. There will be sufficient time to trick-or-treat with your parents watching over for safety before dark if your family chooses to do so. Invite a few friends over and watch a spooky movie if that is your thing.

  9. All of this social justice liberal politically correct bullshit is now ruining our children’s childhood. It used to be you only had to worry about paying for a costume or how you were going to make it yourself. Now it’s, who will this costume offend, who can I invite without causing a scene? This is supposed to be one of the most fun times of year for kids. When they get to run around dressed up and are given candy wherever they go. They had fun seeing their friends at school all dressed up. Now that is all being taken way to cater to a minority that barely amounts to one third of the schools. Its disgusting.

  10. These “social justice warrior” teachers , admins, and counselors are absurd. There are positive and innovative ways to navigate problems with Halloween at school.
    *Parents donate materials for COSTUME MAKING in class. Kids don’t wear a costume to school but make one from the materials on hand.
    * The process becomes a lesson in creativity and self sufficiency – and goes against the tide of consumerism that grips our children
    * As the OP stated make it a fall fest or something similar- so kids of religious background can participate if their parents are informed of the process.

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