Posted on October 26, 2023

Superintendent Cancels Halloween

Hannah Grossman, Fox News, October 24, 2023

A New Jersey school district canceled official school-wide Halloween celebrations, citing its diversity, equity and inclusion values and the purported potential for the festival to be offensive to people from various cultural and religious backgrounds.

Dr. Ronald G. Taylor, the superintendent of the South Orange & Maplewood School District (SOMSD), sent a letter to families on Oct. 6 explaining why any Halloween celebrations in the district will have to be held after school hours.

“As you know, SOMSD is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion meaningfully – not just saying the words but also promoting an inclusive school… Our aim is to build a consistent approach across the District as to how our schools observe and celebrate holidays and special events,” Taylor wrote.  “Each year, questions arise from families, students, and staff about what SOMSD schools will be doing regarding Halloween.”


“Is promoting school-sponsored Halloween activities creating indirect and unintentional financial hardships for students and families? Do school-sponsored Halloween activities violate the dignity of some of our students and families, either culturally or religiously? Does the promotion of school-sponsored Halloween activities create tensions with the equity and access values of SOMSD?”

The superintendent’s letter continued, “{snip} However, in the end, I feel these recommendations align with SOMSD’s commitment to building equity.”