A Cumberland County school has cancelled Halloween activities. Sporting Hill Elementary School notified parents children were not allowed to wear costumes at school, and Halloween parties and parades were also cancelled.
Instead, students participated Friday in a Fall festival.
“It’s really a balance of maintaining an openness of our community schools while safeguarding the safety of our students and staff,” said Tracy Panzer, communications specialist with Cumberland Valley School District. “Our schools over the last ten years have been making a transition from a tradition Halloween celebration to a fall festival. This is the first year that students at Sporting Hill Elementary are not wearing costumes or having a costume party. Safety has been the impetus of it. Safety in costumes. Costumes are so real these days that they can be frightening to some students. Something as sublime or as innocent as a clown costume can frighten a young child. It’s really been two-fold, it’s been safety in the sense of costumes, safety in the sense of protection of the students in the building.”
Panzer says the school recognizes the importance of children being able to dress up. “The opportunity to dress up is so important for creative play, for development of imagination so we opportunities throughout the course of the school year that are tied to our school curriculum,” said Panzer. “The world we live in today is not what we lived in twenty years ago. We certainly want to keep the joy in our schools we just have to find new ways to do that.”