‘Shift the approach’: Northborough Halloween festivities changing amid push for inclusion in schools

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Northborough kids will be celebrating the spirit of Fall in school instead of the spirit of Halloween as the district aims to be more inclusive.

District leaders emailed families Tuesday evening, saying the annual Halloween parade will now be an out-of-school event and children won’t be allowed to wear their costumes in school. Instead, students will celebrate a fall-themed spirit day on Halloween.

“This collaborative decision aligns with the District’s core values of equity and inclusion,” school leaders said in the email. “Moving the parade outside of the school day provides families the opportunity to participate in a manner that is most comfortable for them.”

Each school will share more details closer to Halloween, according to the email.

Emma Paine, an elementary student at Proctor School, told Boston 25 News she was looking forward to wearing her witch costume in school. “It makes me feel upset that I don’t get to show my friends my costume,” she said.

Her grandmother, Debbie Swank, wishes her grandkids could celebrate Halloween like her four kids did growing up at Northborough schools.

“There’s no fun in school anymore,” she said. “I love to celebrate occasions and I think it’s sad that they don’t get to celebrate in schools anymore. I know the cultures have changed but I still wish they could do it.”

District leaders have not yet responded to requests from Boston 25 News to clarify what led to this decision.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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