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No Halloween or Valentine’s Day for East Lansing kids

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 10:20 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 10:58 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - East Lansing School District is pulling the plug on Halloween and Valentines celebrations. Parents in East Lansing received a letter from the district letting them know they won’t have to send their kids to school in a costume this Halloween.

One parent, Rebecca Rook, says her kids are sad to hear the news.

“I’m disappointed because the kids have a lot of fun and enjoy the holidays,” Rook said. “With Valentine’s day in the letter we received they don’t want to focus on a holiday about love. But, I think the kids could use kindness in their life.”

Assistant superintendent Glenn Mitcham says they decided celebrating Halloween and Valentine’s at school wasn’t inclusive to everyone.

“Every year we have kids that cry on Halloween,” Mitcham said. “We worked hard at getting them a costume if they weren’t able to come to school with one. But, maybe it wasn’t the costume they wanted? Maybe it wasn’t as good as the other guy’s.”

MSU’s diversity and equity administrator, Tina Alonzo, says she is happy the district is trying to be more inclusive, but also says there’s more than one way to handle the situation.

“I think that if children are feeling pressured in any way to adapt, Maybe it’s cancelling? Maybe it’s modifying the approach? Diversity. equity and inclusion is key. Everybody needs to feel valued,” she said. “Everybody needs to be respected.”

Even if the decision to not celebrate came with the best intentions, Rook says her kids are heartbroken.

Rook said, “They enjoy seeing their friends dressed up. So, it’s a lot of disappointment right now.”

Assistant Superintendent Mitcham says the district is in full support of families celebrating how they want outside of school, but feels it’s just not appropriate in the classroom.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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