No more costumes for Colonial Day celebrations at Arlington schools

ARLINGTON, Mass. — A big change is coming to a tradition at Arlington schools -- costumes will no longer be allowed on Colonial Day.

In a letter, the Arlington superintendent explained the desire to be more culturally competent as a district, but some parents say the changes will deprive children of a rewarding educational experience.

The tradition at the center of the controversy is Colonial Day. It’s something that takes place in some Arlington schools, and students typically wear costumes from that era.

But last year some parents raised concerns about that, prompting the district to eliminate that component of the event.

n a letter to parents, the superintendent wrote that asking children to wear costumes “emphasizes a single perspective that was not shared by all of the cultures that were present during that time, which includes Native American culture.

But parents Boston 25 News spoke with had mixed reactions to the change.

“I completely understand that Arlington is changing. I know times are changing and we need to be inclusive of everyone, but they didn’t hear the other side. They just shut it down,” a parent said.

Several parents wrote a letter to the superintendent voicing their concerns, saying the decision to remove costumes will “breed resentment and create more division in Arlington, rather than encouraging inclusion and diversity, which we all want.”

The father Boston 25 News spoke with said Colonial Day also features games and other activities from the era, and it’s a tradition he even remembers from 40 years ago.

There’s no word on whether the district will reconsider the decision.