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School lifts Halloween festivities ban

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 23:21:33-04

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Halloween is back on the calendar at a local school that was planning on canceling it.

Fox 47 started looking into complaints from parents about a costume and party ban at the Galewood Elementary in Charlotte.

The principal told parents last week there would be no Halloween festivities and that decision did not go over well.

It was just a few days ago that Galewood parents received an email stating that classroom parties, the annual classroom parade, and costumes, would not be a part of the Halloween fun this year.

Parents were not happy.

Dear Galewood Community Members:
With the changing season comes excitement for all! Crunching leaves, trips to the cider mill for fresh cider and warm doughnuts, cooler evenings and the carving of pumpkins let us know that fall has arrived. For many, the fall season is filled with festivities—particularly the joys of Halloween.
As was done in years past, Galewood School will hold small classroom gatherings chock-full of fun on October 31st. However, due to it also being a half-day of school and the need to protect educational time, changes to the way Halloween is being recognized this school year have been made. Please see below for the specifics that have been mutually determined via the Galewood teaching staff. Also, I encourage you to pay close attention to classroom newsletters coming home in the next few weeks.
• Classroom parties will not be held.
• A Halloween parade will not be held.
• Classroom-based Halloween-themed instructional centers will be implemented via staff discretion.
• Costumes are not to be worn by any student/staff member.
• Students and staff should dress in orange and black (Halloween “colors”).
• Parent volunteers are limited to 3 per classroom, and will be arranged via direct contact from staff.
To be selected as a parent volunteer, please know that all persons visiting Galewood wishing to attend classroom/building functions must undergo a background check, and receive clearance. Forms are available within the Main Office, and must be signed in front of a school official. A Driver’s License must also be presented at the time of submission. Background checks take several weeks to process. If you have been selected by your child’s teacher to assist but have not yet completed your background check, please visit the Main Office by Thursday, October 17th.
While we may not be pulling out all of the stops this Halloween, we encourage you to partake in Charlotte’s Downtown Halloween Parade on Monday, October 28th. You and your family are encouraged to dress in costume and join the other revelers on the Courthouse lawn beginning at 5:30 PM. Once the parade has ended, enjoy Trick-Or-Treating at downtown businesses.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your child's classroom teacher or me.
We hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween.
Warmly-
Steve Chartier, Principal

Katherine Cummins is a parent, she said, "Being able to role play - there's Hulk, and smashing a floor, they're taking that away from them and it's not fair. It's not fair to take away that pleasure and enjoyment from our kids."

Cummins used to work at Galewood and has multiple kids in the district.

She received the email stating the decision was made to quote "protect educational time" due to Halloween being a half day of school.

But Cummins says she didn't buy it.

"These kids work hard all year long. And every so often we get to have our Halloween party, Thanksgiving party, Valentines Day party... Why take that from them? Because you have a different outlook on them, that's not fair."

Parents took their complaints to social media, some even called and emailed the school and superintendent asking them to change the decision.

And it worked -- but parents are confused as to why it was even canceled in the first place, especially such a staple in Charlotte.

"They try to support their principles and things in that manner, but in the end, they are hurting their community."

A letter was released to the community on Friday, October 18 saying that Halloween was back on and stating what would be allowed.

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