Controversy stirs over Charlotte elementary school Halloween policy

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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) – Parents and school officials went head to head this week over an elementary school’s decision to cancel all Halloween activities.

In an email sent to parents on Monday, the principal of Galewood Elementary School in Charlotte said the school is changing the way it celebrates Halloween and many parents were not happy.

The email listed the changes out, saying no classroom parties will be held, no parades will take place, and costumes are not to be worn by any student or staff member, among other things.

The principal said this was for “the need to protect educational time,” but many parents in the city think he went too far.

“How can I tell my 8-year-old son who goes to a different school, he goes to Parkview, how can I tell him that he gets to be Batman at school, and my little girl who just wants to be a butterfly, can’t be a butterfly at hers?,” said parent Colleen Armitage.

It’s a conflict many parents in Charlotte faced this week, after Galewood Elementary School officials decided many Halloween activities will be canceled.

“It hurts as a parent to have to send one child to school in a costume and the other doesn’t get to do anything,” said Armitage.

“It’s disgusting because these kids come every year looking forward to this,” said former Galewood employee Catherine Cummins.

Many parents were worried these rules were put in to place because certain students couldn’t afford costumes, but instead of sitting back, parents in Charlotte are stepping up by donating costumes, to make sure every kid has a happy Halloween.

Armitage owns Red Rosie Bakery. She’s opening up her doors to help.

“This is about the kids in our community that just want to be kids,” said Armitage.

“There’s a lot of us that can afford to spend 10, 15 bucks,” said Tammy Bush, the building owner at Red Rosie Bakery.

They say it’s not to bring attention to themselves, but to genuinely give back to the community.

“I have this opportunity to help somebody who might be in the same situation that I was years ago,” said Armitage. “It’s a holiday, let’s make it a holiday, let’s make it fun, let them be kids, and let the parents feel no shame about it.”

As for where the school stands, 6 News just learned that they’ve decided to reverse their decision and continue celebrating Halloween this year.

In a letter to parents sent out today, they say they’ll be holding the parade in the morning and students are once again allowed to wear costumes.

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