Cannington parent launches petition after school bans Halloween costumes

A Cannington parent has launched an online petition after officials at McCaskill’s Mills Public School effectively banned Halloween costumes this year.

Instead, students have been encouraged to wear black and orange clothing.

According to communications staff at the Durham District School Board, the decision to allow students to dress in costumes has been left to individual schools this year due to concerns about COVID-19.

McCaskill’s Mills appears to be the only public elementary school in Brock Township to make such a move.

“Schools can choose the type of Halloween celebrations to take place while considering the health, safety and well-being of students and staff. With extra precautions being taken around COVID-19, some schools might encourage a black and orange theme instead of allowing costumes for this year. This is to limit the changing in and out of costumes during the day and the close contact that may occur when assisting children with costumes. The health and safety of students and staff is the top priority for schools,” reads a statement received by The Brock Voice.

“In order avoid the mixing of cohorts and the increased risk of COVID-19 this year, all Halloween celebrations are limited to students in the same class and Halloween treats are not permitted to be shared. Students in Grades 4 and up are still required to wear cloth masks and we are strongly encouraging the use of masks for students in Grade 3 and under. Everyone has a responsibility to keep each other safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The ONLINE PETITION, launched by Cannington resident Jen Leece, has received roughly 125 signatures in a matter of days.

“I’m just hoping this petition will maybe show school officials that the community wants costumes worn,” she said.

“Hopefully, they can represent what parents and families want by rescinding this and putting more (safety) guidelines on costumes. Make black and orange an option rather than the rule.”

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