Effort to keep Halloween celebration underway

New London
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NIANTIC, Conn. (WTNH)  –  An effort is underway to keep a Halloween celebration at a Niantic school that had been canceled.

A petition has been started calling for the celebration to go on as in past years at Lillie B Haynes School. The event includes wearing costumes and a parade.

The administration has cited safety concerns specifically the current issues with clowns and has said there should be more time for instruction. It also says the celebration excluded students who do not celebrate Halloween for religious or other reasons.Related Content: Niantic school cancels Halloween celebrations

“I find it upsetting,” says parent Joel Farrior. “We put enough on these kids. Kids need to be kids. They need to have fun they need to have free play.”

Farrior has a second grader and fourth grader at the Niantic elementary school. He is among a group of parents who have started the online petition calling on the superintendent to “Keep School Traditions Alive at Lillie B Haynes.”

“When I called the school and asked one of the reasons I was given and I believe is the main reason in my opinion is that it’s to increase instructional time in the classroom and it really isn’t about necessarily the safety because those are quick fixes,” says Farrior who went to Lillie B. Haynes as a kid. So did his mother.

At this point the petition has 220 signatures. Of those 93 are from Niantic and the rest from other communities. The goal is collect 1000 signatures to present to the Superintendent.

“There is a kid that that… this connects him to… makes him love their school make them have fun and then oh by the way

now they’re doing that extra assignment,” says Farrior. “They’re doing that work. They’re doing the additional reading because they love their school. Now what we have is a bunch of students going home resenting their school because they feel like something got stolen from them.”

Farrior is hoping the Halloween parade will be reinstated and then parents can be part of the conversation to discuss next year’s event.

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