Monona Grove Elementary bans Halloween costumes, parades this year

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MONONA GROVE, Wis. (WMTV) - Monona Grove Elementary students will not be allowed to wear Halloween costumes or hold parades this year, the school district told parents in a letter last week.

Winnequah Elementary School, part of the Monona Grove School District.

The ban is part of an effort to create an inclusive, welcoming environment for all students. The district says they have found that Halloween costumes lead to more student exclusion.

“While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, there are also inequities in how we have traditionally observed the holiday as part of our school day,” according to the letter to parents.

“Whether or not this has been your experience or your student’s experience, our goal is to provide space and opportunities for all students to be part of our school community,” according to the letter.

The district says it has been considering the move for several years after discussing the option with staff and community members.

Parents are giving mixed reviews. Some are upset, and others feel the schools have to do what they can to make kids feel included.

"I appreciate both sides of the argument in the end I am most in favor of making school a welcoming and open space for everyone," parent of a kindergarten student, David Burke said.

According to the District's letter:

“We acknowledge that you may not agree with this decision. We also recognize that you may support it. It is our job as public school administrators to look beyond opinion and do what is best for all students and families. We appreciate your support with this change as we explore new and engaging ways to build community within our schools that all of our students can be a part of and enjoy with their classmates and friends.”