The Halloween confusion between the North Penn School District and one of its schools spooked quite a few people this week.
Inglewood Elementary School in Montgomery County, Pa., issued a letter to parents Tuesday telling them that Halloween festivities were canceled in order to comply with a Supreme Court edict that public schools not promote any religion, WPVI reported.
"Some holidays observed in the community that are considered by many to be secular (ex. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Valentine's Day) are viewed by others as having religious overtones," Principal Orlando Taylor wrote in a note obtained by the station. "The district must always be mindful of the sensitivity of all the members of the community with regard to holidays and celebrations of a religious, cultural or secular nature."
Some parents said the ban was brought on by political correctness.
"Why deny our elementary school children this right of freedom of expression and celebration of American culture/traditions that most of us experienced in school?" one parent told the station.
But now it appears the controversy will vanish like a phantom in the night: A clarification posted on the district's website explains that Inglewood's interpretation of the regulation was inaccurate.
The district says Halloween parties are permitted in the classroom during school hours, and other activities, such as parades, are OK before and after school.
The statement continues:
In fact Inglewood Elementary school will hold such a Fall Festival, with Halloween costumes and activities, on the evening of October 18th. Halloween and fall related activities being held at NPSD’s 18 schools include a Halloween dance, fall festivals, harvest festivals, trick or treating and more.
The district added that while its schools teach how cultures and religions shape civilization, the curriculum has complied with federal mandates that no beliefs be favored.
So ghoul is in at this Philadelphia-area school, but some students in Canada will reportedly be without Halloween. Hastings School in Winnipeg canceled traditional festivities, as did McKay Public School in Port Colborne, Ontario.