No more Halloween celebrations

Parents of Monona Grove School District students were notified Friday, Oct. 4, the district will no longer allow Halloween costumes, parades or other celebrations at the schools.

In a letter from Superintendent Dan Olson and other administrators, parents were told such events were discriminatory against some students.

“The reality is that the celebration of Halloween at school leads to student exclusion,” the administrators wrote. “There are social, financial, and cultural differences among our families that we respect.

“While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, there are also inequities in how we have traditionally observed the holiday as part of our school day. Whether or not this has been your experience or your student’s experience, our goal is to provide space and opportunities for all students to be part of our school community.”

School officials said the move has been considered for several years.

“We did not come to this decision without considering the many viewpoints, opinions, and values of our community,” they wrote. “We acknowledge that you may not agree with this decision. We also recognize that you may support it. It is our job as public school administrators to look beyond opinion and do what is best for all students and families.”

Administrators said the decision is part of the district’s commitment to equity and their focus on building community and creating welcoming, inclusive environments for all students.

In addition to Olson, the letter was signed by Shelby Steel, district student services and equity coordinator; Angie Fassl, Winnequah School principal; Reed Foster, Cottage Grove School principal; and Connie Haessly, Taylor Prairie School principal.

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