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Elementary School Cancels Halloween Festivities

NEEDHAM (CBS) - Needham's Mitchell Elementary School has canceled their Halloween festivities, and it's no trick.

Traditionally, Halloween at Mitchell has been celebrated with class parties and a parade of kids in costumes. But some families who don't celebrate kept their kids home. This year, teachers told the principal it felt awkward planning something not everyone would enjoy.

One Needham dad fondly remembers the way his girls planned their costumes with their classmates.

"It's fun! I can't see why people want to preclude kids from having fun, and enjoy something that's more cultural," said parent Jon Cohan. "There's no real religious significance to anything about Halloween. It's just a thing where kids get candy."

Other parents, looking on the bright side - say there's still plenty of time for sweets and spooky fun at home.

"I don't feel it's really related to overall learning," said Matthew Roy. "It's important for kids to have fun but it is a choice, per family. We definitely like to celebrate with our kids."

In a letter sent home to parents, the school principal wrote:

"I recognize that this decision will be disappointing to some who may feel like Mitchell is changing. I would agree that this represents a change, but I believe that in the long-term any change towards including all children is a positive change that will benefit our students and our community."

In its place, the first annual William Mitchell Day will celebrate the school community and autumn on November 9.

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