GREAT NECK, N.Y. – Angry parents reacted sharply Monday to a decision by the Parkville School to ban Halloween costumes this year.
At a Board of Education meeting at Great Neck South High School, administrators heard complaints from parents regarding the decision by Parkville Principal Debra Shalom to change school policy regarding the celebration of Halloween.
The decision came down from Shalom after 10 Parkville parents objected to the celebration of Halloween as a "religious holiday," according to concerned Parkville School parent Vince Lentini who spoke out at the meeting.
"I'm starting to wonder what your priorities are here," said Vince Lentini, to the school board. "You're trying to raise uniform, harmonized children with no diversity whatsoever."
Lentini, an attorney, called the move by the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten school located in New Hyde Park, "ridiculous."
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"I don't like the fact that you can't even say "Merry Christmas" anymore," said Lentini. "Now I hear that maybe we won't celebrate St. Valentine's Day because that has a religious connotation ... it's getting insane."
Great Neck Schools Superintendent Thomas Dolan said the issue will be discussed at a meeting of school principals Tuesday. Dolan invited Lentini to join in on further discussion at a committee meeting.
"They are revisiting the issue and there is going to be some discussion about it," said Dolan.
The district should welcome the diversity of being able to celebrate everything, including Halloween, said another parent Monday.
"It's not a religious holiday or anything of the sort, it's actually an American tradition," said Xiomara Hoey. "It's something that the children look forward to."
District parent Richard Shen agreed with the decision to ban Halloween costumes at Parkville.
"I wasn't too sure about giving away Halloween," said Shen. The whole point was "to have kids enjoy it and that's the bottom line," he said.
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