Walpole school cancels Halloween parade, some say it goes too far

WALPOLE, Mass. — Parents in Walpole are not happy over what they call a controversial decision to end a longtime Halloween tradition at Boyden Elementary School.

According to parents, one concern principal Brendan Dearborn raised was that the parade isn’t inclusive of all students and their beliefs.

“That's the part that especially the parents and the students are having a hard time understanding,” parent Julie Lowre said. “We have numerous events not all inclusive, so if you cancel one event you have to cancel them all.”

However, Dearborn also cited security concerns in his decision to cancel the parade, and parents told Boston 25 News reporter Kathryn Burcham they support that reasoning,

“It's not my decision to make, it's decision for someone who has authority, who knows the issues more than I do,” Charissa Kaselis, a member of the Parent Advisory Council, said.

Kaselis says the school is open to parents, friends and visitors during the parade, which leaves the children vulnerable.

“Anybody might be able to come in, that's the scariest part of it,” she said.

The students will still be able to celebrate this Friday with an after-school party.

Boston 25 News reached out to the Superintendent’s Office multiple times but did not receive a response.

During Boston 25 News at 5, we asked viewers: Should schools still recognize things like Halloween and Valentine’s Day? More than 80 percent of people responded said "Yes it’s a harmless part of childhood."