Dear students, Halloween is cancelled

Dear students, Halloween is cancelled

(Quebec) The decision made by teachers at La Chanterelle primary school in Val-Bélair not to organize Halloween festivities on October 30 has been criticized by all.

The school board of the Capital, said that they must respect this leverage while nonetheless calling it “unfortunate” says president Manon Robitaille. In her opinion, this holiday is the most anticipated one of all by the children. “Christmas is a family holiday, but Halloween is among friends!” she said during a press briefing.

The Minister of Education François Blais expressed that the situation was “sad for the kids” in an emailed statement. He understands the context of the negotiations, but “when teachers or school administrators act this way, it is the children that they are pressuring.”

Éric Caire, from Coalition Avenir Québec, asks the teachers concerned to reconsider their decision. “They are disappointing parents who, until now, supported their claims, […] and what’s worse, they are giving the best role to the Minister of Education,” he elaborated.

These reactions follow the publication of a letter sent on Wednesday to the parents of children attending Chanterelle. It indicates that “because of current negotiations,” Halloween is not to be celebrated on October 30th and that “no costumes will be tolerated in class.”

Not the majority

Some other schools from the school board of the Capital have decided to follow Chanterelle’s example, but “this is not the case for the majority,” says spokeswoman Marie-Elaine Dion. For School boards like the Navigateurs and les Découvreurs, Halloween parties are to be held.

The union defends

Denis Simard, President of the Union of teaching in the Quebec City area, claimed last week that no watchword had been given to use Halloween parties as leverage. However, he does not want to express any judgment on this “local” initiative.

Could the group of teachers change their minds? “Of course today’s critiques [Thursday] upset people, so it remains to be seen” he said, adding that there will of course be no tolerance toward children who arrive to school dressed in their Halloween gear on that day.

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