Halloween is one week away, and most people across Connecticut couldn’t be more excited. After all, our state is one of the few places where the entire environment goes into Halloween mode in advance of the holiday.
The leaves change colors and fall on the ground. The bare branches become scary arms reach out to scare people. The days get shorter and nightfall comes sooner. The air gets a spooky chill. It’s literally perfect weather for trick-or-treating, especially tricking.
But in one Connecticut town, officials at the local elementary school seem to be over it. According to NBC Connecticut, Lillie B. Haynes Elementary School in Niantic is canceling its Halloween parade, banning costumes in school, and changing all of its classroom Halloween celebrations to “Fall celebrations,” citing safety threats and the possible exclusion of students.
Part of me understands this. In the world we live in now, holding any potentially offensive or exclusionary event opens you up to litigation. Even if you will easily win the lawsuit, the bad publicity, time, and money it takes to fight something like that isn’t worth the trouble. It’s easier to just cancel all the fun and play it safe.
But here in Connecticut, the other part of me hoped for better. As I said, we’re one of the few places in the world that is made for Halloween. In a sense, we have an obligation to do everything we can to fight for the holiday’s success and survival. So while I can understand an elementary school playing it safe this Halloween season, I’m disappointed they didn’t do more to keep the Halloween spirit alive in their town.