School Afraid Of Offending Real Witches Cancels Halloween

PUYALLUP, Wash. — There will be no Halloween parties at one school district in Washington state.

Puyallup School District spokeswoman Karen Hansen said school officials have been reviewing the Halloween tradition and decided that time could be better spent.

According to a Seattle TV station, Hanson said there were three reasons that the parties will be canceled. The first reason was that Halloween parties and parades waste valuable classroom time. The second reason was that some families can’t afford costumes. The third reason is that it may offend real witches.

She said schools have had complaints from followers of the Wiccan religion who are offended at the way Halloween is celebrated. Hansen said schools are teaching students to be respectful and take account of the discomfort felt by others.

Hanson said members of the Wiccan religion did not ask the school district to cancel the Halloween events. But she said they have expressed displeasure with such images as witches with pointy noses and witches flying on broomsticks.

She said that witches with pointy noses are not “respective symbols of the Wiccan religion” and that their district wants to be respectful of that.

Any students who show up in a costume might be sent home.

The school district has the following reminder on its Web site:

Remember, Halloween masks, makeup and costumes ARE NOT ALLOWED at any time on campus.

The decision has angered many parents. Some plan to protest at a school board meeting this Monday. The mother of one second-grader says she has one very disappointed little girl. Tonya Reynolds said everyone is so worried about being “politically correct.”

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Associated Press, USA (of course!)
Oct. 21, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday October 23, 2004.
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