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Comments

Laura

After tonight's costume event, I think Brook's has a great new tradition. I think the kids enjoyed this 10X more than the past classroom parties and I hope the other school's that have dropped the old tradition can create a new one as well. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to have the costume party this year, a huge THANK YOU to Sally Reeves and her committee for doing such a wonderful job and a big thanks to the staff, parents and children at Brooks for participating in this fun event. I can't wait for next years costume party!

Ilene

I also applaud Mr. Younce and the Brooks' PTA. I couldn't agree more with Mr. Younce's analysis of the Halloween tradition. Unfortunately we missed the Halloween party this year -- it was scheduled at the same time as the first band concert of the year at Granger. Maybe next year ...

Sherry

Thank you to all the PTA members and room parents for all you do!
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My family is one who greatly enjoys the American tradition of Halloween and judging from my neighborhood on 10/31 and Brooks School the Thursday before, a lot of other families do as well. I appreciate the great efforts that were put into the evening costume party and I think it would have been a very fun evening if we were a much smaller school.

In reality, I was there with my two of my children and we found there to be so many people packed into not nearly enough space, and such long lines for everything that it was not possible to have a good time. It took several minutes of struggling through the crowds to move from the cafeteria to the gym or vice versa. We left after one hour (we'd planned to stay for 2) - we had some good food and participated in a craft, but my younger daughter was not willing to wait in impossibly long lines to do anything else.

On our way out we ran into another family who had just arrived and saw how crowded it was and decided it would be better to put their coats back on, turn around and leave.

My first grader had lots of friends there but it was too difficult to do anything fun with them in that environment. We would much prefer the traditional room party and costume parade. On 10/30 my daughter asked me about the Halloween party at school and was disappointed when I told her we'd had the fall party in September instead.

The way that Halloween is celebrated in American schools is a long-standing tradition that is not exclusionary nor related to any religion. I believe the vast majority of students enjoy having this traditional celebration. Grade school kids need some time for fun, and a one hour party just a few times each 170+ day school year is a very small amount of time that is beneficial rather than simply disruptive. These are young children, not small adults. I also don't understand the need to make up the alternate celebrations of a fall party and an earth day party rather than Halloween and Valentine's Day.

If there really are a few families who are opposed to celebrating Halloween or Valentine's Day in any fashion, perhaps one of them would like to host a small alternate celebration the same day, at school, in another room so that all kids would have a party to attend? Have they given any input as to what their objection to the classroom party is? Was attendance higher this Halloween than previous Halloweens when there were parties?

If the evening costume party is held again next year, I suggest that it be coordinated with Granger's evening schedule so that families who have kids participating in both the Granger concert and the Brooks party would not have a conflict and because both schools use each other's parking lots for overflow. The Brooks party actually caused the Granger concert to start late for this reason.

The Brooks costume resale was a great idea and I hope this continues. The evening costume party was not a good substitute for the Halloween room party for my family.

Candace

I am curious what you do about the Winter and Valentines Day party? Clearly if we want to be inclusive these parties should be eliminated.

Carol

As a 204 parent who is just now becoming familiar with this issue due to the A.S's unilateral decision to ban Halloween at all schools, I have to frankly say that I'm shocked that this is even an issue. I am also surprised at the way the district has chosen to "resolve" it by infuriating an even larger segment of the population.

You know what? There will always, always, always be a small percentage of the population who are terminally offended by everything. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, whatever it is, it upsets them for really no good reason.

Why has district 204 chosen to lend legitimacy to the terminally offended, I will never understand. This decision is beyond ridiculous, and as is clear from an earlier post here regarding the reality of the Brooks afterschool event, hardly addresses the supposed main concern of inclusion. The event, by crowding in the families in addition to the kids, was overcrowded, difficult to navigate, and hard to enjoy. Some even left without participating.

Good job District 204! Please, spend more of our taxpayer dollars in addressing non-issues.

Maureen

I agree with Carol. The majority of the students are in a sense being "punished" because a few people do not celebrate Halloween. That's their choice and they are free to make it. But they should realize that the MAJORITY of people do not feel the same way. I have the sneaking suspicion that this is not really about Halloween but is a preview of the elimination of the dreaded "Winter Holiday Party" that most of us remember as "Christmas Party".Of course, that was before the ACLU started to sue anyone and anything that had to do with Christianity. Let's all remember that the Constitution allows for the free expression of religion. Has any one else noticed how in this age of "tolerance" we are so less free to express our views and beliefs? It is a scary future we are bringing forth for our children when small minorities of people can silence the majority by simply claiming offense.Now this Halloween thing may be just about Halloween, but we'll see won't we?

Sherry

The School Board changed the policy about school parties over the summer. The new policy is at http://board.ipsd.org/policy/sec6/672_r.pdf

It looks to me that this indicates if the majority of parents want holiday classroom parties they will need to be re-instituted.

Sherry

While I have already stated what I thought of replacing the daytime classroom Halloween parties with the evening time huge party above, and have already turned in my survey with a NO, there is one more important bit of information I found out yesterday.

The same evening (Thurs. Oct. 25) that the party would be held in the evening at Granger there is an orchestra concert at WV with performances by multiple orchestras from WV and Granger. This means a conflict for my family and I expect several others.

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