In East Lansing, Michigan, multiple elementary schools have announced the sudden cancellation of the celebrations of two beloved holidays, Halloween and Valentine’s Day, baselessly claiming that these holidays represent discrimination against some students, as reported by USA Today.
Schools in the East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS) district sent a joint letter to parents, signed by the various principals in the district, declaring that the schools would no longer recognize either holiday. The letter claims that the decision was due to these holidays resulting in some families feeling uncomfortable due to their students being excluded from the celebrations.
“It’s not uncommon to see students crying on Halloween, because they don’t have the same kind of costumes that other kids have,” said Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham, “or they didn’t bring the same amazing valentines that other kids do. We’re striving hard at East Lansing Public Schools to be a district that is equitable and inclusive for all families.”
Mitcham went on to claim that the decision did not mean a total cancellation of celebrations, but instead represented a scaling back of formal celebrations. He suggested that the themes of the holidays could still be incorporated into school curricula, such as students measuring a pumpkin in order to learn about circumferences and diameters.
But the joint letter nevertheless insisted, without any evidence, that celebration of these holidays leaves some students out. “Each year, along with the fun of Halloween parties and parades, we also have students whose families do not celebrate or feel comfortable with their children participating in Halloween festivities,” the statement continued. “We have young children who become overwhelmed and sometimes frightened of the costumes and others who come to school with no costume at all.”
With regards to Valentine’s Day, the joint letter claims that celebrating this holiday could lead to “unintended consequences” among the students, such as “drama and teasing” over who receives a Valentine and who doesn’t. Some parents, the letter claims, “do not feel comfortable with the idea of boys and girls exchanging valentines or participating in a celebration that focuses on ‘love.’”
The news comes after a similar story out of Seattle, where Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School announced the cancellation of Halloween celebrations after the principal baselessly claimed that celebrations led to racial discrimination against black students.