NJ governor knocks school for canceling Halloween celebrations

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Tuesday criticized a school district in his state after it canceled Halloween celebrations in the name of diversity and inclusion.

“Seriously? We can’t let kids celebrate Halloween? Give me a break,” Murphy said in a post on X, previously known as Twitter, in response to a local report about a school district nixing the festivities.

The Hill has reached out to Murphy’s office for further comment.

South Orange-Maplewood School District told families that no Halloween events would occur during school hours this year, local news outlet News12 New Jersey reported.

“The South Orange & Maplewood School District (SOMSD) is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion meaningfully – not just saying the words but also promoting an inclusive school community that creates belonging for all students, families, and staff. Our aim is to build a consistent approach across the District as to how our schools observe and celebrate holidays and special events,” Superintendent Ronald Taylor said in a letter to parents earlier this month.

The school district said it looked at questions such as if Halloween activities created financial hardships for families and if the “activities violate the dignity of some of our students and families, either culturally or religiously.”

The result was not allowing Halloween festivities or costumes during school hours.

“I know this may make some uncomfortable and elicit some challenges across our community. However, in the end, I feel these recommendations align with SOMSD’s commitment to building equity, fostering inclusion, and building a sense of belonging throughout our schools,” Taylor concluded.

SOMSD declined The Hill’s request for further comment.

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