Superintendent’s Handling of Halloween Decision Criticized

Julie Kukenberger became the face of public criticism following her recent decision on Halloween celebrations. She was criticized by school committee members for removing the focus of district celebrations from Halloween as they expressed concerns of children and parents being saddened by this approach and questioned Kukenberger’s decision coming at such a questionable time. They expect the exchange to have been more transparent where the superintendent communicated her decision’s motive.

Kukenberger’s Halloween decision criticized

After the public outrage around her decision, she was seen attending the School Committee meeting on Tuesday flanked by Chair Jen McAndrew and despite the topic not being something preplanned to discuss in the meeting, the elephant in the room couldn’t be ignored. John Obremski, a school committee member remarked that it was the decision’s subject that concerned some people but for most, it was the lack of communication.

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Despite how the decision directly impacts the school’s traditions they were not made a part of the discussion. He further went on to say that the administration should change these tactics and work towards making the decision-making process more inclusive and transparent.

He also said that it is not possible to include families in every decision and that isn’t what he expects the administration to partake in but things like Halloween and Christmas are family traditions and if they are meddled in without any discussion with them it will directly result in upsetting a lot of people.

McAndrew related with Obremski but comes out in support of Kukenberger

McAndrew agreed with Obremski’s statement and she too felt that Kukenberger reviewing the school calendar should have been handled differently. The decision was also timed very badly and making such a statement just a week before Halloween was the major factor that contributed to the excessive backlash. She added that it was important that families and schools are included in the process and the process is kept as transparent as possible.

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She ended the meeting in support of Kukenberger’s decision and explained that the Halloween decision wasn’t meant to cancel Halloween traditions but actually to broaden and give other traditions space and not make fall only all about Halloween. She emphasized further saying the superintendent and her team are looking to de-emphasize Halloween as the main focus of fall and allow teachers and schools to come up with their adaptations of the celebration rather than sticking to a costume parade as school leaders know best what will work for the community.

Parents distressed over the news of Halloween celebrations being canceled

School parents still criticized the Halloween decision and felt that just because the Superintendent received some complaints they shouldn’t be canceling Halloween because it’s like not allowing kids to have lunch. After all, there were some complaints.

Halloween Decision Criticized
Halloween Decision Criticized

Kukenbereger finally spoke out on her criticized Halloween decision, saying that she loves celebrating Halloween and it is a family tradition in her house too so they’re not saying Halloween celebrations are not valid nor canceling Halloween but want to move past centering Halloween as the main theme for fall.

Kukenberger is being highly criticized by parents as she confirmed on Friday that the district will not be celebrating Halloween. As reported by patch, Kukenberger has said that she wants to include kids who don’t want to participate in Halloween so they can still come to school while allowing those that do to continue. Parents are not happy and have started raising their voices against the criticized Halloween decision and have signed a petition to keep Halloween for their kids which already has 2200 signatures.

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Some parents thought that kids were not allowed to dress up and all Halloween celebrations were banned and came to social media to lament the decision. However, students are allowed to celebrate and dress up, but fall celebrations will no longer only revolve around Halloween.


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