No Halloween celebrations for District 69 students

October 1, 2012 (SKOKIE, Ill.)

The superintendent of Skokie-Morton Grove School District 69 says cultural, religious and economic reasons led to the decision.

Reaction to the decision depends on who you ask. A lot of people don't celebrate Halloween and don't seem to mind, but that doesn't mean there aren't those who are very upset.

Four-year-old Roberto Vasquez may have his ninja costume all ready to go, but this year he won't get to wear it at school. That's because School District 69, serving both Skokie and Morton Grove, has decided to eliminate all of its Halloween celebrations.

"I think it's really sad," said parent Cynthia Perez. "My kids are really upset about it. They weren't happy when they heard that there was no Halloween."

The decision, announced by the district last week, was made because, they say, every year there is a growing number of students who, for a variety of reasons, don't participate.

"Some are religious, some are cultural, but some are economic, frankly," said District 69 Superintendent Quintin Shepherd. "Some of the students don't have access to the costumes, and it makes them feel uncomfortable, and we just felt like that's not the way we want kids feeling when they're at school."

Signs of Halloween seem to come earlier and earlier each year. Several homes in the area have already put up their decorations, but ABC7 found more than one parent who appreciates the school district's decision.

"I appreciate that the school is seeing a different view and not celebrating Halloween," said parent Said Arif.

"We have to think about other kids too. It's not about us only," said parent Eva Gonzalez.

As for Roberto, he'll still wear his ninja costume.

"They will still go trick or treating around the area, so they're excited about that, but they're used to bringing treats every year to school, and candy," said Perez, "but I guess not this year."

While no parties, costumes or goodies will be allowed inside of the schools this year, the district is directing parents to the Village of Skokie or the park district, both of which have Halloween activities planned for children.

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