Posted on October 17, 2011

School Bans Thanksgiving and Columbus Day Holidays Because They Are ‘Insensitive’ to Native Americans

Rachel Quigley, Daily Mail (London), October 16, 2011

An elementary school principal has caused outrage by banning Halloween, Thanksgiving and Columbus day, saying they are insensitive.

Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Massachusetts, sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving.

She wrote: ‘When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples.

‘We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated.

‘On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well.’

She had already told staff not to let the kids dress up for Halloween, according to the Boston Herald.

Superintendant Tony Pierantozzi told The Herald that Halloween is ‘problematic’ because of connections to witchcraft.

Several parents thought that the principal was over reacting in her decision.

One told MyFoxBoston: ‘I don’t think they should not be able to celebrate these holidays I mean this country was formed with the idea that everything is a free country, and they should be able to celebrate these holidays.’

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who has three kids at Kennedy, also had an opinion about the principal’s decision.

He said: ‘I’m the son of Italian immigrations, so I take Columbus Day very near and dear, and I’m proud that he discovered America and that America’s named after another Italian.

‘If we ignore and we don’t want to talk about it, if we want to stifle debate, then we’re ignoring history.’

Kennedy Elementary isn’t alone this year. Some schools in Ithaca, N.Y. have nixed traditions of celebrating Halloween. South Hill Elementary and Northeast Elementary Schools will not be hosting their annual Halloween parade and classroom parties, The Ithaca Journal reported.