An elementary school principal in Massachusetts has banned fall holidays, saying they’re insensitive, MyFoxBoston reported Friday.
Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Mass., sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving, the Boston Herald reported.
"When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples," Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley wrote.
"We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated. On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well."
Teachers have already been told not to let students dress up for Halloween.
Parents told MyFoxBoston that they felt the principal was overreacting.
“My kids were brought up with Halloween and whatever have you. She has no right to tell these kids they can’t have it,” one woman told the station.
“The children, they need to express themselves and be children. Don’t take holidays and fun time away from them. They have so much homework. They don’t have enough play time,” another said.
Superintendant Tony Pierantozzi told The Herald that Halloween is “problematic” because of connections to witchcraft.
“I don’t think they should not be able to celebrate these holidays I mean this country was formed with the idea that everything is a free country, and they should be able to celebrate these holidays,” a Somerville woman told MyFoxBoston.
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who has three kids at Kennedy, also weighed in.
“I’m the son of Italian immigrations, so I take Columbus Day very near and dear, and I’m proud that he discovered America and that America’s named after another Italian,” Curtatone said. “If we ignore and we don’t want to talk about it, if we want to stifle debate, then we’re ignoring history.”
He also added that he was planning on being in full costume at Somerville’s annual Halloween parade, which residents said is one of the largest in the greater Boston area.
A few Kennedy students also said they disagreed with the ban.
“I don’t like that. I’ve celebrated Halloween since I was a little kid and I don’t think it’s right to ban it,” one Kennedy student told MyFoxBoston.
“I think that it’s kind of ridiculous because we should celebrate what we want to celebrate. We shouldn’t be told what we shouldn’t by other people,” another said.
The situation even caught the attention of U.S. senator for Massachusetts, Scott Brown.
“Let’s not take political correctness to the extreme. Let the kids in Somerville enjoy Halloween,” Brown tweeted Friday.