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School Keeps Halloween Ban Despite Outcry

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School Keeps Halloween Ban Despite Outcry

Old 10-28-04, 01:37 PM
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School Keeps Halloween Ban Despite Outcry

I'm ashamed to be in the same state as these boobs

PUYALLUP, Wash. (AP) - The school board in this Pierce County city stood firm despite pleas from an angry crowd: No Halloween in the schools.

``Improving student achievement is our highest priority,'' board president Greg Heath told about 400 people at the board's meeting Monday. ``The school board supports the decision of our administration.''

Puyallup School District officials announced last week that Halloween festivities would be canceled in order to stop losing instructional time and to avoid offending believers in the Wiccan religion, sometimes known as witches.

``I'm shaking with anger,'' parent Vicki Hembroff told the board. ``Our children are very creative, and this mixes education and fun together. Let's not take that away.''

Any parents who are offended by Halloween can keep their children away from school that day, she said.

Parents, students and district employees crammed into the Ballou Junior High School cafeteria and lambasted the board over a full hour, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Tuesday.

``To make this decision at this late date is poor management, and you should be ashamed of yourselves,'' said David Powers, a parent. The crowd roared in approval.

Stacy Cook, who drives a school bus and serves in the PTA, wore a bright orange pumpkin hat when she came forward to speak. Cook said she was ``both spooked and afraid'' because the decision was made without advice from parents, students or teaching staff.

``You need to do a better job of probing the public,'' she said. ``Think of the children. I hope they are heard.''

Several people said the district had better things to worry about than Halloween, such as obtaining new computers for some schools. Others pointed out that the district dismisses class early sometimes for teacher training days.

Halloween ``should stay banned because it does offend some people,'' said Allie Scholtz, a junior high school student in the district. ``It's not a big deal. You're just missing out on a couple of parties.''

District spokeswoman Karen Hansen said earlier that the costumes, excitement and all the focus on Halloween ``take the focus away from learning.'' Hansen said Wiccans who have met with school officials have not asked for cancellation of Halloween events but have said they are offended by images of witches with pointy noses flying on broomsticks.

Lisa Lawrence, facilitator of Gaia's Grove in Puyallup and Wiccan high priestess of Sacred Oak Circle in Puyallup and Tacoma, believes the issue is bigger than a Wiccan question.

``Taking Halloween away from children, that's just ridiculous,'' she told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Lawrence does not have children in Puyallup schools.

``We don't particularly care for the images of witches but there are a lot of stereotypical images that a lot of people don't like, but that's part of life,'' said Lawrence. ``People dress up as perverted priests, sexy nuns, drunken Irishmen, nerds, obese people, every group has its stereotype that is mocked or made fun of.

``As far as classroom time, this is just another attempt to take very bit of creativity and socialization out of schools,'' she said. ``They want to take every bit of fun away from these kids and turn them into testing machines.''

The Wiccan religion is based on respect for the Earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons. Wiccans try to reconnect with the life force of nature, both on Earth and throughout the universe.

Oct. 31 - Halloween - is observed as Samhain (pronounced SOW-een) by some pagans. It grew out of the beliefs of the ancient Celts who considered the day to be the eve of the New Year and a night when the barriers between the living and the dead were uncertain, allowing ancestors to walk in this world. The Celts marked the day with a feast to welcome their departed kin.

Simply fucking ridiculous. . . .
Old 10-28-04, 01:39 PM
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These liberals up here in the Seattle area are going to go over the edge someday.

/me looks at watch... hum de hum hum
Old 10-28-04, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by kahuna415
These liberals up here in the Seattle area are going to go over the edge someday.

/me looks at watch... hum de hum hum
As opposed to the "religious" zealots who think a pumpkin or a piece of candy is satanic.
Old 10-28-04, 01:46 PM
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South Park already made fun of people like this. Move along, there's nothing to see here.

Sheesh, anyone who wants to take away a day of fun for students is reprehensible. Yes, school is for learning. However, like an ordinary office job, schools should set aside a few days a year for the kids (workers) to let their hair down. Life isn't all work and no play.

Bastards.

If I were one of the parents of a kid in that school, I'd make the kid wear a costume to school in protest. I think all the parents should do just that.
Old 10-28-04, 02:10 PM
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I don't believe for a second that this has anything to do with lost instruction time or the Wiccans. I guarantee that this comes from Christian pressure, or the beliefs of the head of the school board.
Old 10-28-04, 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by Green Jello
I don't believe for a second that this has anything to do with lost instruction time or the Wiccans. I guarantee that this comes from Christian pressure, or the beliefs of the head of the school board.


If anyone doubts, this just take a look at the comments by the Wiccan who met with the school board and told the press, basically "Why the fuck is the school board taking Halloween away from these kids?"
Old 10-28-04, 02:49 PM
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This is stupidity. Lets stop holding christmas since it's a pegan holiday.
Old 10-28-04, 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
This is stupidity. Lets stop holding christmas since it's a pegan holiday.
Christmas observance?? Are you referring to Winter Break?
Old 10-28-04, 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
This is stupidity. Lets stop holding christmas since it's a pegan holiday.
I'm not sure, but I don't think public schools do Christmas any more.
Old 10-28-04, 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
This is stupidity. Lets stop holding christmas since it's a pegan holiday.
Pegan? Is that a Vegan Pagan or something?
Old 10-28-04, 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by Charlie Goose
I'm not sure, but I don't think public schools do Christmas any more.
I think what's common nowadays is for the school to include Christmas as part of a larger learning exercise about Hannukah, etc. To me, this is the best solution. It teaches the students about other beliefs other their own, while letting any students who celebrate those holidays a chance to participate and feel included. It's a much better solution than to basically say, "Christmas? What's that? We have never heard of this holiday."

The Halloween thing is just really fucking stupid. Are they going to ban Thanksgiving next, out of sensitivity to American Indians?

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