Oregon school among the latest to call off Halloween costumes, celebration

Oregon school among the latest to call off Halloween costumes, celebration (KATU)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KATU) - Some elementary schools are doing away with Halloween costume parties, and Scholls Heights Elementary in Beaverton is the latest school to cancel the event this year.

Principal Monique Singleton sent out a letter to parents Wednesday that stated students and staff will not be dressing up this year.

Singleton said she's not trying to take away the fun. She just wants to support an environment that includes everyone. They plan on holding a harvest party on the holiday instead.

A majority of parents KATU News talked with said they support the principal's decision.

“I actually thought it was nice the school was being very inclusive,” said Tamara Kennedy, whose daughter is a 5th grader at Scholls Heights. “I didn't actually celebrate any holidays growing up, so I understand the feeling of those families where the awkwardness of being a child, where you feel excluded.”

Principal Singleton said she made the decision after careful conversations with parents, students, and staff.

She says some felt the celebration was in direct conflict with their cultural and or religious beliefs.

Singleton heard from teachers who say costumes and the excitement of the day can take away from valuable learning time.

“When my classmates bring in their costumes, it also distracts me because I'm trying to learn,” 5th-grader Devin said, adding that he feels he's a little too old now for trick-or-treating.

“In kindergarten I actually dressed up as a Ninja Turtle and after that a couple years, the principal said no more costumes,” he continued.

Instead of costumes, Singleton is encouraging kids to wear crazy socks on October 31st to celebrate their sock drive to help the homeless.

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